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Libyan journalist survives attack by gunmen unhurt

Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the extreme violence with which certain armed groups behave towards media personnel and condemns an attempt on journalist Khadija El-Emaime's life in Benghazi on 12 August, just three days after a TV presenter was gunned down in the same city.

Benghazi bureau chief for the satellite TV station Libya Al-Ahrar and a reporter for the popular online newspaper Libya Al-Mustaqbal, Emaime had just got out of her car when gunmen approached in their own car and fired on her at close range without hitting her.

She received a message soon afterwards saying: “The next time the bullets will be real and you should expect it soon.” Before the shooting, she received several messages criticizing some of her articles and making threats, including death threats.

Like TV presenter Azzedine Kousad's fatal shooting in Benghazi on 9 August (LINK), the 12 August shooting highlights the difficulties and dangers for journalists in Libya, who are facing an extremely disturbing surge in violence.

Reporters Without Borders urges the Libyan authorities to investigate these shootings without delay in order to identify the motives and those responsible and thereby end this cycle of violence as soon as possible.

The safety of journalists must be guaranteed in the new Libyan state or else the media will be unable to work without resorting to self-censorship or private protection.

Legislative and judicial measures must be adopted urgently to stop the rule of law being undermined by impunity and to ensure that freedom of expression and information – a necessary condition for establishing a democratic society – are protected and respected in Libya.

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