Libya Bans Unauthorized Protests
The Libyan Ministry of the Interior announced Saturday a ban on all unlicensed protests, which some believe will include strikes as well. All future protests will require the permission of the Interior Ministry, and all unauthorized protesters will be held responsible for any injury or property damage resulting from the illegal protests. Libyan human rights groups condemned the ban, with some calling it a return to Gaddafi-era bans on protesting.
Also, armed gunmen kidnapped Ahmed Nabil al-Taher al-Alam, the chief of Libya’s Olympic Committee, in Tripoli Sunday. Between eight and nine armed men stopped Alam’s car only blocks from the Tripoli Olympic headquarters, taking him in their car and driving away but leaving a friend of Alam behind. Additionally, two journalists captured while reporting on Libya’s historic election have been freed in exchange for the release of several Gaddafi loyalists. Yusuf Baadi and Abdul Qader Fusuq were in Bani Walid last Sunday on their way back from covering the election for a Misrata TV station when they were detained. Successive negotiation attempts failed throughout the week until Mistrata authorities offered the release of several Gaddafi loyalists detained since the revolution, none of whom are charged with criminal activity.
Umar Khan argues that the biggest surprise of the incoming election results is not how poorly the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be doing, but rather that a National Forces Alliance (NFA) majority is by no means certain given that genuine independents will have the majority. The NFA will likely take around 40 of the 200 seats, while independents will have 120, and the results coming in show independents with no clear leanings towards the NFA.