Freedom in the World
A law granting Libyan women the ability to pass their citizenship to their children was approved in January 2010, though the measure’s pervasive ambiguity and lack of enforcement mechanisms left its practical effects in doubt. Government crackdowns on the country’s only quasi-independent media group continued in 2010, including a six-month shutdown of two of the group’s newspapers and the arrest of 20 journalists in November. The Libyan authorities faced ongoing criticism for their abuse of migrant workers, and in June, the UN refugee agency was expelled from the country without explanation.
Libya is not an electoral democracy. Power theoretically lies with a system of people’s committees and the indirectly elected General People’s Congress, but in practice those structures are manipulated to ensure the continued dominance of Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, who holds no official title. It is illegal for any political group to oppose the principles of the 1969 revolution, which are laid out in the Green Book, although market-based economic changes in recent years have diverged from the regime’s socialist ideals.