Reporters Without Borders notes Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s death today, two months after his 42 years of dictatorial rule were brought to an end when Tripoli was taken on 23 August. Col. Gaddafi was one of the leading holders of the “Predator of Press Freedom” title that Reporters Without Borders began bestowing after its creation in 1985.
We pay tribute to the victims of his oppressive regime, to the journalists he imprisoned and to the five journalists killed in Libya since March 2011. The death of a dictator should not mean that investigations are abandoned and that impunity is perpetuated. We hope that this turning point in Libya’s political history will also mark the beginning of renewal in its media.
According to a Reporters Without Borders’ tally, five journalists have been killed, 32 have been imprisoned, eight have been briefly detained, 15 have been kidnapped and 30 have been forced to leave the country since the start of the rebellion on 15 February.