Media Lens is a response to the unwillingness, or inability, of the mainstream media to tell the truth about the real causes and extent of many of the problems facing us, such as human rights abuses, poverty, pollution and climate change...
« Libya – ‘Dawn Of A New Era’
The same media, echoing different politicians, are this month responding in near-identical fashion to elections in Libya. In line with Herman and Brodhead's analysis there has been much discussion of 'personalities of candidates' and other 'secondary matters', but no serious attempt to judge the integrity of the elections against rational criteria. The Telegraphreported: ‘a coalition led by the Western-educated political scientist and former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril appears to have won Libya’s first free elections in 60 years…’
The Times hailed Libya’s ‘first free elections today’ (James Hider, ‘After the pain, a hope for liberty and democracy,’ The Times, July 7, 2012).
Luke Harding wrote in the Guardian: 'Libya's former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril has won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic election...'
Barack Obama described the elections as ‘another milestone in the country’s transition to democracy.’ The European Union hailed the ‘dawn of a new era’.
In selling Libya’s elections as free and fair, the media have had little to say about a report by Amnesty International published as Libyans were preparing to vote: ‘Libya: Rule of law or rule of militias?’ (July 2012), based on the findings of an Amnesty visit to Libya in May and June 2012.
Amnesty reported ‘the mounting toll of victims of an increasingly lawless Libya, where the transitional authorities have been unable or unwilling to rein in the hundreds of militias formed during and after the 2011 conflict’.
The militias are now ‘threatening the very future of Libya and casting a shadow over landmark national elections… They are killing people, making arbitrary arrests, torturing detainees and forcibly displacing and terrorizing entire communities... They are also recklessly using machineguns, mortars and other weaponry during tribal and territorial battles, killing and maiming bystanders. They act above the law, committing their crimes without fear of punishment.’ There is ‘a very real risk that the patterns of abuse that inspired the “17 February Revolution [sic]” will be reproduced and entrenched’.
Amnesty added: ... »