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Poor Record in Human Rights

Aug 17, 2007
Libya lies between Egypt to the east Sudan to the southeast Chad and Niger to the south and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. It is a country in North Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north.

The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, the Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres most of the area is desert. Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa by area and in the 17th largest in the world. The capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libyas 5.7 million people.

The name Libya is an indigenous one, which refers to one of the tribes of Berber peoples living west of the Nile. In Greek the tribesmen were called Libyans and their country became Libya, although in ancient Greece the term had a broader meaning, encompassing all of North Africa west of Egypt and sometimes referring to the entire continent of Africa.

Libya has one of the highest Gross Domestic Products per person in Africa, largely because of its large petroleum reserves.

According to the U.S. Department of States annual human rights report for 2004, Libyas authoritarian regime continued to have a poor record in the area of human rights. Some of the numerous and serious abuses on the part of the government include poor prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, prisoners held incommunicado, and political prisoners held for many years without charge or trial. The judiciary is controlled by the state, and there is no right to a fair public trial. Libyans do not have the right to change their government. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion are restricted. Independent human rights organizations are prohibited. Ethnic and tribal minorities suffer discrimination, and the state continues to restrict the labour rights of foreign workers

Present day Libyans descend almost entirely from the Arabian incursion of the 11th century AD, with a few black Africans from the south and indigenous Berbers in the west. Although traditionally the rural people have been nomadic shepherds, since the discovery of oil there has been a drift into the towns. Once one of Italys few colonies, Libya were occupied by the British and French during WWII.

Emerging from years of international isolation, Libyas beauty and diversity are still relatively unknown and, as a result, the country remains largely unspoilt by tourism. Visitors will enjoy exploring the Italian streets and squares of Tripoli and will be amazed by the spectacular remains of the Roman cities of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, testaments to ancient civilisations.

Tourists will also have plenty of opportunity to travel through the vast Saharan desert and camp amongst great sand seas, while appreciating Berber hospitality in western Libya.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Libya Rental Site
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