Since the fall of Gaddafi in 2014, Libya has found itself in a melee of three governments all fighting to take power, dozens of militias and even more political interests. Local clashes between various groups and militias, including battles between Libyan forces and the Islamic State, occur frequently across the country. A new military dictatorship in cooperation with conservative Islamic groups is emerging in the east, where many formerly prominent figures of the Gaddafi regime are returning to power.
Although the government based in the capital, Tripoli, instated under the peace treaty under the auspices of the UN is internationally recognised, it is incapable of guaranteeing the people safety or even basic services. It is a problem for locals to withdraw money from the bank, the electricity supply is often out of order for several days at a time and access to medical care is limited. Kidnappings take place on a daily basis in the capital; the motive of these may simply be the ransom, or they may be an instrument of political struggle.
Civil society, including newly created media, which formed itself during the short period of freedom now faces attacks from the army, militias and extremists, ranging from threats, assault to kidnapping, and therefore we attempt to give our support to these Libyan civic initiatives. We help them in their struggle for freedom of speech and of the press, stopping violence against women and also, for instance, achieving greater transparency of local government through training and small grants.
Our achievements in 2016 include arranging for the participation of two Libyan activists at the One World film festival, who then introduced screenings with debates on the topic of human rights to Libya. We also trained eight local activists and future lectors in digital security and data protection. They then provided support in the area of data security for a further 70 Libyan activists and journalists.
People in Need started working in Egypt and Libya in the Spring of 2011 with the objective of assisting and supporting civic and state initiatives calling for key democratic reforms. The first projects focused on sharing and discussing specific areas of reform that could draw from the Czech experience with post-revolution transformation, as well as on practical support for civil society groups.