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article imageLibya's 'glorification' Law 37 challenged by lawyers

By Katerina Nikolas     May 31, 2012 in World
One of the changes brought about since Libyans ousted Colonel Gaddafi is the introduction of Law 37, known as the "glorification law." Under Law 37 anyone who praises the Gaddafi regime can be imprisoned for life.
The text of the "glorification" law makes it a criminal offence to glorify “Gaddafi, his regime, his ideas or his sons” the Libyan Herald reports. Anyone can be imprisoned if they “insult Islam, or the prestige of the state or its institutions or judiciary" as can "every person who publicly insults the Libyan people, slogan or flag”. It also makes it a criminal offence to “harm the 17 February revolution."
According to Shabab Libya one consequence of this new law is schools across Libya have been forced to suspend the teaching of modern history. The report quotes a teacher who said “We are meant to pretend like it never happened and my principal is adamant that 42 years of Libyan history should be erased."
One former Libyan minister has protested the "glorification" law, adding his voice to those of human rights activists who have criticized it. The Libyan Herald reported former justice minister Mohammed Allagi has protested the law, saying “It is an obvious violation of public rights of freedom and human rights, It is a dangerous set back and a shameful duplication of the past. ”
Amnesty International reiterated his comments, referring to Law 37 as an “eerie reminder” of the Gaddafi days.
Now the new law has been challenged by a group of lawyers and the Supreme Court has ruled that the constitutional legality of Law 37 be debated in open court. A court date has been set for June 3 in the Tripoli Supreme Court.
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