LIBYA TO ALLOW NGOS, LIMIT DEATH PENALTY: MAGISTRATE
|Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi
November 24, 2009: Abdelrahman Boutouta, the head of a legal committee tasked with amending Libya's penal code, told reporters that the amended penal code will limit the death penalty to those convicted of premeditated murder and of committing acts of terrorism.
"If the new legislation is adopted, Libyan citizens will have the right to create civil associations on condition that they are apolitical," Boutouta said.
According to the magistrate, all clauses forbidding the creation and outlawing membership of NGOs have been removed from the penal code, adding however that a "law of associations" is being drafted.
The penal code sanctions capital punishment for all individuals who support, create, join or finance organisations proscribed by law.
Statutes and rules of civil associations are considered as not promoting the ideals of the Libyan revolution led by Colonel Moamer Kadhafi on September 1, 1969, and therefore illegal.
Boutouta also said the amended penal code will limit the death penalty to those convicted of premeditated murder and of committing acts of terrorism.
Under the existing code, which dates back to 1953, 21 crimes are punishable by death including drug trafficking and attacks on the security of the state.
When completed, the new-look penal code must be approved by people's congresses in accordance with Kadhafi's philosophy of "people's power," Boutouta said.
He gave no indication of when this might take place. (Sources: Timeslive.co.za, 24/11/2009)