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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

Congress draft State of Emergency law published

September 2012 

The National Congress has published a draft State of Emergency law which would give the authorities tough, wide-ranging powers to crack down on any individual or group seen as endangering the country’s safety and security.

Under the law, the authorities would be able to:

  • collect or confiscate weapons, ammunition and explosives;
  • declare a curfew;
  • order areas and buidlings to be evacuated;
  • arrest and detain anyone believed to be a threat to public security or who is a repeat offender;
  • place under house arrest anyone deemed to be a threat to public security;
  • issue exclusion orders preventing them from going to specified locations for a maximum of one month;
  • carry out of searches of individuals, homes and other buildings as well as of vehicles, ships and aircraft;
  • expel foreign citizens deemed to pose a threat to public safety and security;
  • order gatherings to disperse that are deemed to pose a threat to public security and arrest anyone who fails to comply;
  • confiscate funds deemed to be connected to those plotting against the state and ban the import or export of certain goods;
  • intercept communications and impose controls on the media;
  • declare any area to a military zone under the control of a a military commander.

The law says that state of emergency can be declared  only when there is a breakdown in law and order, in time of war, general unrest or natural disaster.

However, the Government will not be able simply to declare a state of emergency in such circumstances.It will be up to the President of Congress or the Prime Minister to make a request to the legislative body, giving valid reasons, but it will be up to Congress to decide. It will also decide how long the State of Emergency lasts and the precise emergency powers granted to the authorities.

However, the preamble to the draft makes it clear that the law is being enacted because of the current security crisis.

It says that it is being drawn up “to address security threats during Libya’s transition from a time of revolution to a normal working state”.

Anyone who violates the law would face a 3,000 dinar fine or a minimum six-month prison term or both.

Source: Libya Herald 

Categories: News, Press

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