One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule

 

Almost a year after the start of the Libyan uprising that led to the ousting and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, new research suggests more than a third of its citizens would rather return to being ruled by a strongman than embrace democracy.

Despite thousands of deaths in the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi's 40-year rule, fewer than a third of Libyans would welcome democracy, according to the study published by the Institute of Human Sciences, at the University of Oxford, and Oxford Research International.

Libya is traditionally a tribal society and there are concerns that the vacuum created by Colonel Gaddafi's removal in October could lead to clashes between the factions that toppled him. In recent weeks, medical and human-rights groups have complained that the situation in parts of country is getting out of control.

The deaths of 12 detainees who lost their lives after being tortured by the various militias running law and order in towns and cities across country are documented in an Amnesty International report released today. The study follows last month's decision by Médecins sans Frontières to halt operations in Misrata after being asked by officials to treat prisoners midway through torture sessions, allowing authorities to abuse the victims again.

Still, the survey found 35 per cent would still like a strong leader in five years' time, although more than two-thirds wanted some say in future governance.

"Although there appears to be a push for an early election, the population seems to be happy with the National Transitional Council [NTC]," Christoph Sahm, director of Oxford Research International, said.

"Perhaps more significantly, Libyan people have not yet developed trust towards political parties, preferring a return of one-man rule. Yet they have also resoundingly said they want a say in how their country is run, which suggests Libyans who have had autocratic rule for decades lack the knowledge of how a democracy works and need more awareness of the alternatives to autocratic government."

While trust in the NTC will be welcomed by Western backers - 81 per cent of Libyans expressed faith in the new administration that helped defeat Colonel Gaddafi - 16 per cent said they were ready to resort to violence for political ends.

The figures are borne out by the Amnesty report, 'Militias threaten hopes for new Libya,' which points to evidence of war crimes being committed against Gaddafi loyalists. Its authors found that torture or ill-treatment was being perpetrated in 10 out of 11 detention centres they visited, with several prisoners saying they had offered false confessions to rape and other offences simply to end their ordeal.

The bodies of the 12 men who died were covered in bruises, wounds and cuts, Amnesty said, and some had fingernails and toenails pulled out.

"Militias in Libya are largely out of control and the blanket impunity they enjoy only encourages further abuses and perpetuates instability and insecurity," said Amnesty's Donatella Rovera. ""Militias with a record of abuse of detainees should simply not be allowed to hold anyone and all detainees should be immediately transferred to authorised detention facilities under the control of the National Transitional Council."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam