Libya’s Supreme Court agreed to review the constitutionality of a new law that criminalises the glorification of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi or any of his supporters.
The appealing lawyer told the court on Sunday that Law 37, which was passed by the ruling National Transitional Council last month, violated constitutional freedoms of expression.
“This law is a violation of the basic freedoms of human rights and will help to damage freedoms in Libya,” said Saleh al-Marghani. “The law itself helps to glorify Gaddafi more than keep it in check. We ask the court to accept our appeal.”
The NTC passed Law 37 on May 2 and raised public outrage among civil societies and Libyan legal experts who said the law violated the spirit of freedom of expression, Reuters reports.
The law prescribes prison sentences for the glorification of Gaddafi as well as publishing any news “harming the February 17 revolution”.
“This marks a unique opportunity for the judiciary in Libya to assert its independence and act in its capacity as a monitor of the powers of the lawmakers in the country,” said Elham Saudi, director of the Lawyers For Justice in Libya group.