IFJ Demands Respect for Journalists in Libya Following Murder of Meftah Bouzid

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded that all parties involved in the civil war in Libya respect the rights and freedom of journalists following the horrific murder of the prominent journalist, Meftah Bouzid.

According to media reports, Bouzid, who was known for his fierce criticism of Islamist militias in Libya, was shot dead in the city of Benghazi yesterday, Monday 26 May.

He was the editor of the Burniq newspaper and had regularly appeared on television challenging the rise of Islamist groups since the country’s 2011 revolution. He had received numerous death threats because of the editorial line of his newspaper.

“We strongly condemn the brutal murder of the well-known journalist Meftah Bouzid and we send our deepest condolences to his family and colleagues at this difficult time,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

“We call on all sides in the conflict in Libya to respect the rights of all journalists reporting on events in the country. They must be allowed to move freely and report on the truth.”

Abuse and attacks against the media in Libya are on the rise. Last December, the IFJ called for an investigation into the murder of Radwan al-Gharyani, while in February this year unidentified attackers attempted to break into the Benghazi office of local TV channel, Libya al-Ahrar, opening fire on the building. The Tripoli office of Al-Assema, TV station was also attacked with rocket propelled grenades.

“The situation for journalists in Libya is growing increasingly dangerous,” added Boumelha. “As the murder of our colleague shows, it is imperative that journalists take death threats seriously, remain vigilant and report all threats to the relevant authorities.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17

The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists