Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi continues his campaign for international respectability, and members of the international press continue to report fewer restrictions on their movement and less government interference. Still, the state of press freedom in Libya is dismal. The government restricts the ability of the media to operate freely by prohibiting all political activities not officially approved; by enacting vaguely worded laws that may interpret many forms of speech or expression as illegal; and by operating a system of informants that creates mistrust at all levels of society. The whereabouts of journalist Abdullah Ali al-Sanussi al-Darat, who has been detained without trial or charges brought against him since 1973 is still unknown. In April the press announced that the Government had revoked writer Farag Sayyid Bul-Isha's citizenship as a punishment for his participation in a program on Al-Jazeera. The state owns and controls the country's media outlets, and the authorities do not permit the publication of opinions contrary to government policy. Foreign programming is available through satellite, although some programs are censored.