An Important Update from the Authors: the Bernardino León “Scandal” and Dr. Aref Ali Nayed. On the 31 December 2015, one last update of 2015 but we wanted to note that 5 January 2016 marks the second month that the Bernardino León emails have been released. In what is according to “Wolfram Lacher, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs who studies Libya” stated “It is a real scandal” – Aref Ali Nayed is named personally within the UN–confirmed, Leon-confirmed leaked email as reported by The Guardian and Middle East Eye. As of today, we add it to our article as yet another reason why UNDEF and Rory Peck Trust should reevaluate their decision of Dr. Nayed’s institution LIAS as their “local partner” in the training of Libyan journalists. List of articles: Inner City Press, The Guardian, The New York Times and Middle East Eye.
We note that as the UN has agreed to conduct a formally requested investigation of Mr. Leon’s affairs, so should the UNDEF as Dr. Nayed is mentioned prominently within that email. We request such an investigation. This is the “Aref Nayed” excerpt from complete email printed in the Middle East Eye and noted by The Guardian.
Further, we wish to draw our readers’ attention to the UNESCO’s Madrid Declaration on Libyan Journalism and this article’s role, please review our note in at the beginning of our article: When Libyan Journalism Yields to its Politics Corruption is Not Invited to the Round Table Discussion
The rest of the article…
Aref Ali Nayed: UNSMIL, UNDEF and The Future of Libya and Libyan Journalism
This is the first of a two-part conclusion of our previous article, When Libyan Journalism Yields to its Politics: Corruption is Not Invited to the Round Table Discussion. The second and final part is Aref Ali Nayed: UNSMIL, UNDEF and The Future of Libya and Libyan Journalism 2.
The Role of Journalism in a Democracy
Journalism has a strategic role in within a democracy, especially in an emerging democracy like Libya.
After 42 year of excessive corruption, stagnation and waste by the regime – PLUS 4 years post-revolution looting which can best be described as With the Death of Ali Baba came the Rise of the 40+ Thieves. The 40+Thieves period of rampant looting was recently concluded with passage of the 28th July 2015 General Amnesty law by the internationally recognized government/parliament. Among other pardoned crimes, the real thrust of the Tobruk/HoR‘s law was to allow white collar crimes such as post revolution corruption to go unreported – unpunished – simply wiped clean with the 40+ Thieves rewarded with their ill-gotten gains. James Wheeler noted in a tweet, “The amnesty is from Feb 2011. The real beneficiaries are the white collar criminals since the revolution.” We couldn’t agree more.
What exactly does ‘Internationally Recognized’ Mean?
Mr. Wheeler’s astute comment gave us license to ponder about amnesty for corruption from the ‘internationally recognized parliament.’ When considering the general amnesty for corruption, what exactly does ‘internationally recognized’ mean? As demonstrated by this flagrant law, in Tobruk, one can presume it’s interpreted to mean a license to steal by legislation. Lacking accountability to anyone, especially its constituents the Libyan people – it is more reminiscent of A Revolutionary Committee than a 21st century emerging democracy. As the world turns a blind eye to their actions, the HoR/Thinni Government has progressively become more emboldened in their actions and legislation. Canceling the lustration law, removing the INTERPOL arrest warrants – failure to pay the tab – for many Gaddafi-era suspects, and lately, there is draft law to grant salaries for life for the members of parliament…a lifetime salary for 1½ years of – to paraphrase Asma Yousef Magariaf – allegations of ‘incompetence and corruption’, lack of transparency in ‘disallowing televised coverage of its sessions’ & ‘disclose voting records of members’, minister appointments ‘based solely on tribal loyalties’ and ‘mishandling security reports, ignoring warnings about impending threats, and allowing regional players to influence security policy’ – AND now a general amnesty for corruption? And yet, the HoR still retains the title of ‘internationally recognized parliament’ based solely on the support – thus legitimacy – of the international community. Recognition in international law is subjective and a mere political decision. States recognize each other based on ideology and national interest. As we know, concerning the nature of recognition of foreign states, and governments, the best example is Taiwan. Due to the communists’ control of China after WWII, the United States, the U.N and most Western nations regarded the tiny island of Taiwan as the sole legitimate government of the huge land mass of mainland China. After, the improvement of diplomatic relations between the United States and China in the late 1970s, most nations switched diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China.
With respect to Libya, when the international community provides recognition it does with the knowledge that:
- The establishment of the new parliament in the city of Tobruk was from the outset in violation of the Constitutional Declaration. Its place of seating was designated to be in Benghazi with an exception to move sessions to other towns.
- The Parliament has no internal procedures and rarely meets in a session with all members. Most of the members live in Egypt and travel to Tobruk occasionally. Their children attend private schools in Egypt, instead of the schools in Tobruk- paid for courtesy of the HoR.
- Irrefutable evidence exists that members have been sympathetic to the Gaddafi regime IMMEDIATELY prior to the Revolution. This Gaddafi’s Libya Talks state TV video demonstrated that Agila Saleh Essa Gwaider, Acting Head of State of Libya and Libyan Parliament (HoR) gave loyalty speech to Muammar Gaddafi on the 7 February 2011 in his tent just 10 days before Revolution. Libya Talks VIDEO
- Besides various allowances such as housing, transportation and loans facilities including the members voted to give themselves salaries and allowances that are more than 20 times the salary of a university professor. (See insert November 2015 leaked HoR document– HoR gave themselves 10 million Libyan dinars.) However, it must be noted that this outrageous salary legislation began with the GNC.
Laws MUST reflect the hopes of the population. Laws are legislated to improve and regulate the lives of the population. By enacting laws that are in conflict with the aspirations and vision of the people, such laws are rendered illegitimate. Illegitimate laws equate to illegitimate parliamentarians. Therefore, we can say that the Parliament in Tobruk does not reflect the inspirations of ALL Libyans. When the international community continues to bestows the title of ‘internationally recognized’ on those unworthy, they too are tainted by association.
A Thought for the HoR: the beauty of Democracy is that laws enacted one day can be reversed the next.
As for the 42 years, Libya’s wealth has been pillaged, misappropriated and wasted by a despot, his progeny and their cronies. Think-tanks, journalists and governments have compiled books, policy papers and articles documenting the level of wholesale looting. All agree, the regime viewed the Libyan National Wealth as THEIR own and the national institutions as merely THEIR ATMs for whatever une obsession de l’instant that caught their fancy.
Un Enfant Capricieux
Indicative of that Gaddafi mindset was the August 2015 uttering of Salma Abdulla Senussi.
In The Independent article while dispensing foreign policy advice and defending ‘the 42-year rule of the ‘Brotherly Leader,’ Ms. Senussi offered her crass take on the Libyan Revolution. While enjoying the pleasure of an Oxford Street café during a central London autumn, Ms. Senussi had the impudence, let alone oblivious notion to suggest:
“Maybe the problems in Libya – you’re going to laugh – but maybe they did the revolution because they didn’t have McDonald’s, KFC. They’re angry because they didn’t have McDonald’s.”
McDonalds? KFC? NOT freedom of movement…to enjoy the pleasure of an Oxford Street café during a central London autumn? NOT to redress the Libyan wealth disparity OR simply freedom to voice dissent against the kleptocracy known as the Gaddafi Regime. Can you smell the air of Gaddafi-ist entitlement floating in the autumn breeze?
The Libyan National Wealth IS the Gaddafi Family Wealth
Considering the Libyan National Wealth travesty, we offer two WIKILEAKS from 2009. Written by US Ambassador Gene Cretz within days of each other, the cables document the regime’s depravity concerning the Libyan National Wealth. Titled ‘BLACK SHEEP MADE GOOD? SAADI AL- QADHAFI’S EXPORT FREE ZONE IN WESTERN LIBYA’, Ambassador Cretz details the project as ‘Saadi al-Qadhafi, son of Muammar al-Qadhafi, has recently turned his attention to transforming an area near the western Libyan town of Zuwara into an Export Free Trade Zone.’ The astounding tidbit from the cable is the illuminating reason for the ‘ambitious and expensive project.’ Father Muammar backed the Saadi’s une obsession de l’instant – to ‘occupy’ the time of ‘notoriously ill-behaved’ son. Libyan money was EARMARKED to BABYSIT Saadi – or at least give him the appearance of worth. Un enfant capricieux! PDF: WIKILEAKS 3 MARCH 2009 SAADI The 3 March 2009 US Embassy cable:
Although the Zuwara Free Trade Zone is an ambitious and expensive project, Muammar al-Qadhafi likely views it as a relatively small price to pay if it helps occupy the notoriously ill-behaved Saadi and lends a patina of useful engagement to his otherwise less than sterling reputation.
Muammar al-Qadhafi likely views it as a relatively small price to pay if it helps occupy the notoriously ill-behaved Saadi and lends a patina of useful engagement. A small price to pay – but with WHOSE money? Ambassador Cretz’s description is dead on. With the finesse of a psychiatrist’s analysis, Ambassador Cretz’s next cable is even more revealing of the psycho-sexual traits of dysfunctional members in the dysfunctional Gaddafi family. A revealing cast of characters placard, it makes an interesting read – especially NOW with the Regime’s reemergence AND “Public calls in the city of #Tobruk for the release of Saif Islam Qaddafi & for G regime officials to play a role in the future.”
The second cable is even more indicative of the Gaddafi belief that the Libyan national bodies were merely THEIR personal automated teller. Written on 9 March 2009, just days after the previous one, Ambassador Cretz with a psychoanalytical gift notes the rivalry between the Gaddafi progeny and their intellect of entitlement. The cable title is ‘LIBYA’S SUCCESSION MUDDLED AS THE AL-QADHAFI CHILDREN CONDUCT INTERNECINE WARFARE.’ PDF: WIKILEAKS GADDAFIs 9 MARCH 2009 Ambassador Cretz explains the Gaddafi Children in the US Embassy cable:
As reported ref A, National Oil Corporation Chairman Shukhr Ghanem was approached by National Security Adviser Muatassim al-Qadhafi, son of Muammar al-Qadhafi, in late June 2008 with a request for USD 1.2 billion, reportedly to establish a military/security unit akin to that of his younger brother, Khamis, and to make unspecified security upgrades. In early July, Ghanem informed Muammar al-Qadhafi; however, he laughingly dismissed it. According to Ibrahim el-Meyet (strictly protect) a prominent Tripoli-based attorney and business consultant, Ghanem subsequently submitted a letter of resignation in mid-August, believing that Muatassim or his confederates would seek revenge against Ghanem and/or his family for having denied the request for funds.
Un enfant capricieux Muatassim al-Qadhafi approached the Chairman of the National Oil Company for US$1.2 Billion for L’obsession de l’instant. Another praetorian guard unit to rival his brother. Astounding!
‘GADDAFI GOES HOLLYWOOD’
If all of this wasn’t enough, for those Libyans who are reminiscent of OR just complaisant to OR even conciliatory for the 42 years of flagrant pilfering of Libyan National Wealth, we offer a morsel of what to anticipate with the Gaddafis’ reemergence. One final illustration of Gaddafi entitlement & depravity with respect to the Libyan citizen’s inheritance: Saadi Gaddafi‘s L’obsession de l’instant committed US$100 million of Libyan National wealth to BUY him the title of HOLLYWOOD MOGUL.
“‘Gadhafi Goes Hollywood: Dictator’s Son Gets In With $100M’ Here are two names you don’t expect to see together: Moammar Gadhafi. Hollywood.
But guess what – they’re in bed, making movies. Hollywood’s latest financial backer is the middle son of the Libyan dictator, Saadi Gadhafi, who is backing a movie production fund called Natural Selection to the tune of $100 milllion. Mathew Beckerman, the CEO of Natural Selection, secured Gadhafi”s backing barely one year ago, and has lately won the Libyan’s agreement to accelerate his investment from an initial plan of 20 films over five years.”
‘Dictator’s Son Gets In With $100M’ of the Libyan citizen’s inheritance.
In the Period of the 40+ Thieves
After 42 years of unchecked, unreported, rampant corruption culminating in the death of Ali Baba with the emergence of his 40+ Thieves to loot for an additional 4 years post-revolution – journalism MOST definitely has a strategic, caretaker role within the emerging democracy of Libya. As the eyes and the ears of the Libyan citizenry, it will attempt to prevent future governmental corruption. And so strategic is its role, that without a free and independent press – Libya WILL NOT become a democracy.
UNESCO and Spain’s Madrid Declaration
There is hope; the world is listening. Libyan demands for responsible journalism from its media have been addressed. Three weeks after our article, When Libyan Journalism Yields to its Politics Corruption is Not Invited to the Round Table Discussion a UNESCO declaration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain was signed in Madrid on the 30 July 2015:
“In discussions facilitated by UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, senior managers and owners from ten Libyan media outlets, including television, print, radio and online media based both inside the country and in the region have jointly approved the “Madrid Declaration: Towards Professional Media: The Role of Libyan Media and its Responsibility in Times of Crises.”
A significant step, the Madrid Declaration outlined for the senior managers and owners their moral obligation as they recognize the “historical and important role of the Libyan media in reconciliation and shaping the political landscape by outlining “a comprehensive set of principles to which the signatories agree to abide. It recognizes the key role played by the media in society, especially at this difficult time, and affirms their commitment to promote freedom of expression, responsible journalism and the absolute rejection of all forms of hate speech and incitement to violence.” From the Madrid Declaration:
They hereby declare and vow that:
- Libyan media managers and journalists abide by the values of the right to freedom of expression and responsible opinion. They consider mutual accusations among parties to the Libyan conflict through the media without providing tangible evidence or proof, an act that goes against freedom of expression.
- They reject hate speech, Takfir, and the questioning of the patriotism of others; they also consider all types of incitement that aim to break up the Libyan social fabric and weaken it, an act that goes against society’s values and all international covenants.
- They (the participants) urge the Libyan Legislative authority and the Constitution-Drafting Assembly to positively embrace all the initiatives related to this by:
- Issuing regulations for media and press to protect the rights of those who work in this vital sector, ensuring their independence and preventing their submission to material or moral blackmail. Such regulations shall also allow for the creation of syndicates that protect their rights and develop their performance.
- Creating an independent entity in charge of putting forward suggestions and legal regulations for this profession through engaging professionals and those interested in this sector in an inclusive national discussion. This shall also include a specialized committee that will issue periodic reports about the level of commitment of media outlets and media professionals to the stipulated professional standards.
- Including the protection of freedom of expression and the right to circulating information and protecting its sources in the Constitution.
A signatory was Hassan Al-Amin, editor of Libya Al-Mostakbal and the subject of our article:
Hassan El Amin, editor-in-chief of Libya’s Almostaqbal news website, said: “The significance of the Declaration lies in its coming at a time when we need a professional and ethical obligation in the way we are dealing with the Libyan crisis.” He added: “This is a pledge to re-examine our editorial policy and correct the errors. We will strive to make our news coverage to go side by side with this declaration.”
Although a substantial step, we note that numerous Libya media outlets were NOT PRESENT – therefore, did NOT SIGN – therefore, are NOT SUBJECT to the tenets the Madrid Declaration. One can presume that UNESCO invited all-that-claim to be Libyan Media – yet many of the main instigators – their editors/owners which HAVE NOT ascribed these tenets – DID NOT attend.
We wondered if their invite was lost-in-the-mail or they simply choose not to attend & sign a PLEDGE to ‘rejection of all forms of hate speech and incitement to violence.’ If the latter, we respectfully request UNESCO to reconvene and find the mechanism for sanctions on the errant media. Irresponsible media led by irresponsible owners with political motives have fanned the flames of tribalism, segregation and divisiveness which have NO place within a modern Libyan state.
We have discussed only one example within our article, من مخلافات عهد القذافي….غناوة “بوادي لباسين جرود . These are the links for the exemplary Madrid Declaration: HERE, HERE & HERE. PDFs: UNESCO Madrid Declaration ARABIC & UNESCO Declaration Madrid ENGLISH
The Future of Libyan Journalism
Even though UNESCO’s Madrid Declaration is substantial step, we must draw awareness to plans instituted in two other UN agencies, UNSMIL & UNDEF, that left in play as is, will in fact curtail the freedom of the press…meaning independence from external political control. First, we must examine what is the value of free press for Libya?
Journalism in a Democracy: Direct Correlation to the level of Governmental Corruption
‘A Free Press is Bad News for Corruption’ ‘A free press is potentially a highly effective mechanism of external control on corruption…’ (Page 1804)
As it begins to redevelop economically, for Libya what is the significance of a free – meaning independent press? In a 2001 policy paper for the State Secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, entitled ‘A free press is bad news for corruption’, Aymo Brunettia and Beatrice Wederb tackle the ‘proposition that a free press may be a powerful control on corruption.’ (page 1801)
This paper tests the proposition that a free press may be a powerful control on corruption.
We find evidence of a significant relationship between more press freedom and less corruption in a large cross-section of countries. This result is robust to specification and sample and the relationship is not sensitive to the choice of a particular measure of corruption or of press freedom. Furthermore we present evidence which suggests that the direction of causation runs from higher press freedom to lower corruption.
The authors conclude ‘A free press is bad news for corruption,’ (page 1801) as ‘a free press may be a powerful control on corruption’ and finds a ‘direction of causation runs from higher press freedom to lower corruption.’ In other words, the greater the independence of the press equals to the lower amount of corruption. Conducted ‘in a cross section of countries’ which would include Libya. PDF: A Free Press is Bad News for Corruption
The Overall effects of Freedom of the Press on Economic Development
The authors’ motivation was to concentrate on the correlation of independence of the press on corruption and in turn on the negative economic development of a country. The authors argue that the ‘general acceptance that corruption is one of the central issue in development’ and the most effective ‘control of bureaucratic corruption’ is a free press. The introduction: (Page 1802)
Freedom of speech and a free press are generally considered important human rights and powerful controls against government malfeasance. An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing. Countries with a free press should, therefore, ceteris paribus, have less corruption than countries where the press is controlled and censored. This paper presents an empirical evaluation of this proposition.
The paper is motivated by recent research which has shown that higher corruption is detrimental to economic performance and which has lead to a general acceptance that corruption is one of the central issues in development policy. This has given rise to the question of how differences in corruption across countries can be explained and a few recent studies started to explore possible determinants of corruption in small country samples. This paper argues that of the probable controls on bureaucratic corruption a free press is likely to be among the most effective ones — a proposition that is supported in an empirical analysis of a large cross-section of countries as well as by evidence from time series.
Freedom of speech and a free press are… powerful controls against government malfeasance. An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing. Governmental malfeasance, trespassing by governmental officials – the most effective institution to uncover the like – is journalism. How does the independent journalist investigate? By being the watchdog of the government.
The independent Journalist, the ‘Watchdog’ against Malfeasance & Corruption.
Published by the World Bank, a 2009 Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government book, entitled Public Sentinel: News Media & Governance Reform edited by Pippa Norris which examines ‘what ideal roles should the mass media play as watchdogs, agenda-setters, and gatekeepers to strengthen democratic governance and human development?’
The Media as the Public’s Eyes and Ears is covered in Chapter 5. Shelia Coronel devotes the chapter to corruption and the watchdog role of the news media. Ms. Coronel discusses the watchdog role of the press against governmental corruption: (Chapter 5)
Governments, it is argued, cannot be held accountable if citizens are ill informed about the actions of officials and institutions. A watchdog press ensures that individuals and institutions who are supposed to serve the public remain transparent and are held accountable. A vigilant press is therefore key to good governance.
Ms. Coronel discusses the many faces of watchdog reporting
In new and old democracies, the idea of the media as the public’s eyes and ears, and not merely a passive recorder of events, is today widely accepted. Indeed, the myth of the intrepid journalist doggedly pursuing the trail of wrongdoing remains very much alive, both in the media as well as popular lore. Governments, it is argued, cannot be held accountable if citizens are ill informed about the actions of officials and institutions. Watchdog reporting covers a wide range of different types of journalism. On a routine basis, the watchdog press monitors the day‐to‐day workings of government, thereby helping citizens assess the efficacy of its performance. Reporting that goes beyond what officials or their spokespersons say, to examine government performance, is also a form of watchdogging. (Page 2)
On a routine basis, the watchdog press monitors the day-to-day workings of government… Reporting that goes beyond what officials or their spokespersons say, to examine government performance, is also a form of watchdogging. A watchdog press has a significant role within an emerging democracy like Libya with its historical and ongoing looting of the national assets.
In conclusion of our discussion on journalism in a democracy we offer two quotes that reflect the significance of the free press – unencumbered and independent from external influence such as financial, political or societal ties. The 2001 policy paper for the State Secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, entitled “A free press is bad news for corruption”. (Page 1804)
A vigilant press is therefore key to good governance. In a country that guarantees freedom of the press, watchdog journalism can be “a highly effective mechanism of external control on corruption”.
Secondly, is The World Bank published 2009 Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government book, entitled Public Sentinel: News Media & Governance Reform. This quote embodies the watchdog role of the press against corruption: (Page 3)
A watchdog press ensures that individuals and institutions who are supposed to serve the public remain transparent and are held accountable. A vigilant press is therefore key to good governance.
A vigilant press is therefore key to good governance means that the Libyan media will be the public’s eyes and ears in Libya’s journalistic future. As we know UNESCO has stepped up in July with the concrete Madrid Declaration. Yet, from where we stand, like all big organizations, communication between the UN extended agencies are somewhat lacking. With the best of intentions as an assumption, TWO other UN organizations, UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and UN Special Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) have instituted or endorsed separate converging plans and both of these plans converge on Dr. Aref Ali Nayed. First, UN Democracy Fund and its local partner Libya Institute for Advanced Studies and owner/chair Dr. Aref Nayed. Secondly, is UNSMIL reported credible overtures to Dr. Aref Ali Nayed to be prime minister. Left in play as is, these divergent plans will curtail the freedom of the press…meaning independence from external political control.
Libya’s Journalistic Future: United Nations Democracy Fund
As ‘a free press is potentially a highly effective mechanism of external control on corruption…’ (Page 1804). With this in mind, we examine Libya’s journalistic future with UN Democracy Fund and its local partner, Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS).
The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and Libyan Journalism
A sorely-needed and ground breaking initiative by The UN Democracy Fund in partnership with Rory Peck Trust was announced on 9 September 2014. One of 50 new initiative from UNDEF that is ‘”the first UNDEF-funded project devoted entirely to supporting freelance journalism,” said Annika Savill, Executive Head of the UN Democracy Fund.’ From the UNDEF press release:
The project will work to strengthen independent journalism in Libya, so that local citizens have better access to information about the country’s democratic process even amid considerable security challenges. Implemented by the Rory Peck Trust together with local partners, the project will train a core group of freelance journalists in freelance tradecraft and safety skills. This will be developed into an online resource, providing all freelance journalists in Libya with access to information that can assist them in producing more professional and ethical content, safely and securely.
Rory Peck Trust is The London-based Rory Peck Trust is the world’s only organization dedicated fully to supporting and assisting freelance newsgatherers. It was established in memory of Rory Peck, the pioneering freelance cameraman who covered the wars in the Gulf, Bosnia and Afghanistan and helped to found Frontline Television News, a London-based co-operative of freelance cameramen. He was killed in crossfire in Moscow in 1993 while filming a gun battle outside the Ostankino television station.”
Rory Peck Trust had a similar press release on 19 September 2014:
The Rory Peck Trust has been selected by The UN Democracy Fund, UNDEF, for funding of a project entitled “Strengthening Skills and Improving Safety for Independent Journalism in Libya”. The project will ensure that local citizens have better access to information about the country’s democratic process amidst considerable security challenges.
The two-year project, implemented by RPT alongside local Libyan partners, will train a core group of freelance journalists in freelance tradecraft and safety skills. The project will then be developed into an online resource, providing all freelance journalists in Libya with access to information that can assist them in producing more professional and ethical content, safely and securely
“The Local Partners”
Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) released a similar press release on 5 January 2015:
‘LIAS has partnered with the Rory Peck Trust on a two year project to support independent journalists in Libya.’
The project, entitled ‘Strengthening Skills and Improving Safety for Independent Journalism in Libya’, was selected by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) for funding as it recognises the importance of supporting freelance journalists in Libya. This is the first UNDEF funded project devoted entirely to freelance journalists.
Each year LIAS and the Rory Peck Trust will select 15 journalists to receive intensive training. This will be delivered through targeted workshops and one-to-one mentoring by established working journalists throughout the year. The information gathered from the project overall will be used to create an online resource available to all freelance journalists in Libya. Strengthening independent journalism in Libya will ensure that local citizens are better informed and therefore better able to participate as the country goes through its current transition amidst heightened security challenges.
The project very much fits into LIAS’s Media School objectives to be part of creating a strong independent free media in Libya by providing access to training, workshops and long term professional support. LIAS offers journalists and media professionals opportunities to develop their skills, and better equip themselves to advance their craft. More recently LIAS has also focused on improving journalists’ ability of how to deal with the risks of working in a hostile environment, to keep themselves and their teams safe and secure whilst continuing to produce professional content.
First: note on another page is the fact that although UNDEF pays, does Rory Peck actually co-selects with LIAS? It appears LIAS is actually in control over the initial selection process as Rory Peck application link in fact leads back to the LIAS site. Initial vetting by LIAS in this time of cultural segregation based on politics could be construed as a conflict of interest. Given that owner/chairman is overtly, politically-linked to the Tobruk Government PLUS is on-record calling ‘Muslim Brotherhood-associated lobbyists’ – ‘a bunch of thugs’ or ‘fascists’ while simultaneously stating ‘nor does it dissuade me from supporting Libyan citizens even if they belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. I still deliver their consular rights, and I dare anyone or challenge anyone to prove otherwise.’ STILL documented allegations abound and given the choice of vernaculars chosen (‘THUGS’ & ‘FASCISTS’) – one STILL can speculate about duplicity. It is UNDEF & Rory Peck Trust who have the final call on a conflict of interest with LIAS and Dr. Nayed, yet, we respectfully request RPT be in charge of initial vetting of candidates. An excerpt: Professional Development Training for Independent Journalism in Libya from the Rory Peck site:
This project, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund, aims to create a sustainable professional network of freelance journalists working safely to produce independent, ethical and unbiased reporting in Libya.
Applications are now open to all Libyan journalists who hold Libyan citizenship, are working as freelancers, and are available to travel in May and can commit to attending a 6 day workshop.
Deadline for all applications is the 25th of April.
(It links to LIAS) PDF: APPLICATION IN RORY PECK LINKS TO LIAS
Second: As the local partner is Libya Institute for Advance Studies (LIAS), we find the following LIAS statement problematic: “The project very much fits into LIAS’s Media School objectives to be part of creating a strong independent free media in Libya by providing access to training, workshops and long term professional support.”
Problematic as the owner/chairman of LIAS is Tobruk heavyweight Dr. Aref Ali Nayed. Ownership was noted in a Foreign Agents Registration Act FARA registration statement filed with the US Government as LIAS hired a Washington DC lobbyist. We will explore ‘the local partners’ in relationship to press independence from political and/or financial pressure. As being owner/chair of LIAS is perfectly legitimate and legal, the problem is that when LIAS begins to train Libyan journalists. As we know, in a democracy like Libya is striving to be, “An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing.” (Page 1802)
Strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing’ is our worry. The gray area of conflict of interest begins to emerge when one FULLY EXAMINES the Local Partners: Libya Institute for Advanced Studies and its owner/chair Dr. Aref Ali Nayed. Given that “ideal roles should the mass media play as watchdogs, agenda-setters, and gatekeepers to strengthen democratic governance and human development” what will be the impact on the independence of Libyan journalists that are selected, trained and then employed under the auspices of an institute and/or media outlet owned by a family member of Dr. Nayed?
Will these new journalists be beholden to LIAS and by proxy…Dr. Nayed? This will be the focus of this op/ed discussion and its sequel. We will examine Dr. Nayed, his academic institute LIAS and its suitability to be the local partners for the UNDEF project. Our question will be – are these new journalists unwittingly pigeon-holed to be beholden to LIAS and by proxy…Dr. Nayed. Especially, since other news outlets report that Dr. Nayed is ‘Playing Media Baron’ and ‘Prime Minister’ simultaneously? To tell the FULL story in these two articles, we warn you, this is going to get UGLY. But, let’s venture forward together, hand-in-hand.
Dr. Aref Ali Nayed for Head of the Unity Government- UN ENDORSED.
We first aware that Dr. Nayed was slated to head the new Unity Government from a tweet.
On 5 March 2015, Mohamed Eljarh @Eljarh, a non-resident fellow at Atlantic Council @ACmideast tweeted that “Unity Gov: Aref al-Nayed approached by UNSMIL & HoR to head the new unity Gov being negotiated in Morocco.”
Mohamed Eljarh is an accredited academic. As we did not notice a source offered, therefore, one must assume he had insider knowledge.
We have two points on this tweet: FIRST, UNSMIL ‘approached Aref al-Nayed to head the new Unity Government’. Have they overstepped their portfolio? Is this momentous choice THEIR decision?
Conflicting UN Agencies
SECOND, UNSMIL approaching Aref means he is slated for the unity government – UN ENDORSED. Couple this with UNDEF’s local partner is Dr. Nayed’s institute that is to select, train and later employ the journalists at one can speculate – his brother’s TV channel in Jordan. Couple this with ‘An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing.’
When we mix all these factors, we simply ask – IF Dr. Nayed is in the government AND his institution co-selects and co-trains the journalists – will they have a ‘strong incentive to investigate’ – without influence – ‘and uncover stories on wrongdoing?’ Or will these new journalists be beholden to LIAS and by proxy… Prime Minister Nayed?
We argue for both UN agencies to want Dr. Nayed for their converging plans is contradictory.
Reports that Dr. Nayed is running for the top Libyan post are:
- Nayed & Abushagur vie for Prime Minister’s Post in African Intelligence 2 February 2015
- Ambassador Nayed to make his Pitch at LBBC in African Intelligence on 9 April 2015
- Nayed on World Tour to Blow His Horn in African Intelligence on 25 June 2015
- A vision for Libya: Aref Nayed details the changes the Government of National Accord has to make in The Libya Herald on 19 August 2015, in Al Monitor 2 February 2015, and the invite by the House of Lords. HERE, HERE & HERE
Considering the political importance given to him by UNSMIL, we must reacquaint ourselves with Dr. Aref Ali Nayed.
Dr. Aref Ali Nayed
Dr. Nayed was interviewed in detail in The New York Time’s September 2011 article entitled A Man of God and Technology, Trying to Steady Libya. Ann Barnard discussed Dr. Nayed’s ties to Libya ‘as Colonel Qaddafi began lifting restrictions on religious teaching’ in the years before the 2011 revolution:
IN recent years, as Colonel Qaddafi began lifting restrictions on religious teaching, Mr. Nayed helped restore and reopen a picturesque Islamic school in Tripoli’s old city and became involved in outreach to Christians and Jews.
After Pope Benedict XVI made controversial comments on Islam in Regensburg, Germany, in 2006, Mr. Nayed was one of 138 Muslim scholars who drafted a letter inviting Catholic-Muslim dialogue. He took part in a conference of clerics who recently reinterpreted the 14th-century scholar Ibn Taymiyya’s celebrated fatwa, or religious edict, on jihad, arguing that radical Islamists who use it to justify killing are misguided.
When the rebellion started in February, he and other clerics issued a fatwa calling on Libyans to resist Colonel Qaddafi. Two days later, he fled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he runs Kalam Research & Media, perhaps best described as an Islamic theological research and policy organization.
In that interview Ms. Barnard continued by noting Dr. Nayed’s family:
But Mr. Nayed must himself navigate the shoals of a society that still lacks consensus on what kinds of dealings with the old government are forgivable.
Critics grumble about his family’s contacts with the old government. His father, Ali Nayed, owned a large construction business that worked on military installations, schools and other projects for the government before Colonel Qaddafi confiscated his property in 1978. More recently, Aref Nayed had contracts with Libya’s central bank, though he said they ended in acrimony. His brother Rafik was appointed shortly before the revolution to manage the country’s sovereign wealth fund and has stayed on.
For Mr. Nayed, that simply proves the point that after 42 years in which Colonel Qaddafi dominated Libya’s entire economy, few can claim to be entirely pure.
“Religious Scholar: Nayed is a former professor at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome), a former professor at the International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC, Malaysia) and a senior advisor to the Cambridge Interfaith Program and the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge, UK. Prior to the Libyan revolution he lectured on Islamic Theology, Logic, and Spirituality at the restored Uthman Pasha Madrasa in Tripoli, Libya, and supervised Graduate Students at the Islamic Call College there. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Templeton Foundation.
Political Leader: Nayed’s other strengths have not gone unnoticed, and when he submitted his resignation from the post of Ambassador to the UAE, it was rejected, and he was asked to take the position again. He is viewed in many circles as a man of integrity, wisdom and strength; virtues that are needed at the highest level to put Libya back on track.”
‘He is viewed in many circles as a man of integrity, wisdom and strength; virtues that are needed at the highest level to put Libya back on track.’ Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is also noted for other virtues by journalists at African Confidential and its sibling, Maghreb Confidential. Their article about Dr. Nayed’s connections-based-network comes complete with diagram.
FROM MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL & AFRICA INTELLIGENCE
A lot of United Nations contradictory announcements and/or intrigue have been simultaneously surrounding Dr. Nayed within the last few months. Questions of Dr. Nayed’s influence in Libya politics and his use of that influence did not originate with us. We are just the next-in-line to add to the dialogue. Rather, it was with the team of journalists and editors from the uniquely connected Africa Intelligence and Maghreb Confidential.
Maghreb Confidential & Africa Intelligence have been questioning – in relationship to each other – Dr. Nayed’s (1) connections-based-network, (2) being slated as prime minister in the UNSMIL organized unity government and (3) what impact has this on his relationship as a ‘Media Baron’ to a program in which his LIAS institute are training journalists funded by UNDEF. These are their intriguing articles about Dr. Nayed: HERE, HERE & HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE
Our interest in Dr. Nayed’s politics is his impact on the future of Libyan Journalism. When considering suitability of UNDEF’s Local partner, LIAS and its owner/chair – one has to wonder how his Maghreb Confidential described connection-based-network will be played out in relationship to the UNDEF/RORY PECK/LIAS Libyan journalists. Will they become part of the network? A network operating in what is destined to be a free and independent Libya. Will the journalists be beholden to the owner/chair of the organization that co-selected, co-trained and co-employed them as a ‘Media Baron’ or will they be free to criticize governmental corruption IF Dr. Nayed is in the government?
‘Playing Media Baron’ and ‘Prime Minister’ Simultaneously
Here we note that the UNSMIL agenda converges with UNDEF funded journalism program: ‘Playing Media Baron’ and ‘Prime Minister’ simultaneously. It must be either – but NOT BOTH.
A Libyan prime minister or that matter any minister cannot be a ‘media baron’ if the press is to be independent to do their job. We quote again from the 2009 The World Bank/Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government book which embodies the watchdog role of the press against corruption:
‘A watchdog press ensures that individuals and institutions who are supposed to serve the public remain transparent and are held accountable. A vigilant press is therefore key to good governance.’ (Page 3) AND
‘An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing.’ (Page 1802)
A watchdog press ensures that individuals and institutions who are supposed to serve the public remain transparent and are held accountable AND …has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing. And coinciding is the LIAS press release, ‘Each year LIAS and the Rory Peck Trust will select 15 journalists to receive intensive training….an independent free media in Libya and long term professional support.’ We question the independence of the future journalists with UNDEF’s local partner Libya Institute for Advance Studies while LIAS owner/chairman, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, is also ‘playing media baron’ while ‘vying for the prime minister post.’ We argue it cannot co-exist simultaneously.
Therefore, taking the lead from Maghreb Confidential, we add to the discussion by questioning the conflict of interest with Dr. Nayed. ‘Vying for Prime Minister’ of the UNSMIL backed Unity Government while ‘Playing Media Baron’ as institute LIAS is the local partner of the United Nations (UNDEF) program for journalist.
Maghreb Confidential investigation with “Aref Ali Nayed plays media baron”
African Confidential/Maghreb Confidential noted Dr. Nayed’s status as a “media baron” in their 16 April 2015 Game Changer series article Aref Ali Nayed plays media baron:
Aref Ali Nayed, the ambassador of Libya’s “legitimate” government to the United Arab Emirates, has been busy drumming up media support for the authorities in Tobruk. His think-tank, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, (LIAS) will launch a training programme for Libyan journalists in May in partnership with Britain’s Rory Peck Trust and with funding from the UN Democracy Fund. The first batch of trainees could find jobs at Qanat Libya, the Jordan-based satellite TV channel that launched in February. The channel is understood to be owned by Rida Ali Nayed, Aref Ali Nayed’s brother. It’s launch is good news for the Tobruk camp, which feels it gets less media exposure than its rivals in Tripoli and Misrata, which have the pro-Islamic militia channel Al Nabaa TV, owned by Abdel Hakim Belhadj. The Government led by Abdallah Al-Thani has held several meeting in recent weeks to discuss improving their media visibility.
Wikileaks: Saudi Cables
Further, allegations exist that Qanat Libya is actually funded by Saudi Arabia. In this unverified document, but worth of mention, is a purported WIKILEAK: Saudi Cables HERE, HERE, HERE allegedly from the Saudi Foreign Ministry to the ministry’s branch in Mecca. The unverified cable purportedly notes that Prince Waleed wrote to the foreign ministry to transfer an amount of money to a Jordanian bank account. The money was to establish a Libyan TV channel in serving Saudi missions (goals) agreed upon with the Libyan ambassador to the UAE. It purportedly asked the branch to update the ministry on the transfer of money to inform the Prince.
So CAN Dr. Nayed be ‘Playing Media Baron’ and ‘Prime Minister’ simultaneously? SHOULD he?
MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL continues with his Connections Based Network
RIVAL TEAMS BATTLE IT OUT FOR CONTROL OF THE LIA
Maghreb Confidential in June 2015 release an article in their series Insiders Libya entitled Rival teams battle it out for control of the LIA. (Libyan Investment Authority). The discussion was Aref Ali Nayed. Several points are relevant for our article on the future of a free and independent press in Libya. Not one to mince words, we quote directly from the Maghreb Confidential and African Intelligence articles: HERE & HERE
Aref Ali Nayed has succeeded in consolidating his contact from the earliest stages of the civil war as the head of operations of the Libya Stabilization Team (LST). This task force which was set up in May 2011 by National Transition Council (NTC) chairman Mahmoud Jibril was, at the time, in of humanitarian and construction contracts.
As a member of the Benghazi business elite thanks to this prosperous company, Aref Ali Nayed’s father, Ali Nayed, succeeded in keeping up his work for the government of the “Guide” until 1978 when Gaddafi decided to confiscate his property. Aref Ali Nayed was then aged 17. He went to Canada and the United States to study, then went into business in Italy before returning to Tripoli in the 1990s. In addition to training as an engineer, he studied theology. A member of the Uthman Pasha madrasi in Tripoli, he was given support by the Islamist movement which enabled him to take part in the alliance between Saif El-Islam Kadhafi and the Libyan Islamic Movement in the late 2000s and to found the Kalam Research & Media (KRM) religious think tank from Dubai. When rebellion took place in February 2011, however, he was one of those religious leaders who issued a fatwa calling on Libyans to resist Muammar Gaddafi.
Like his brothers Rafik and Reda, he inherited a large fortune from his father, according to our sources. Aref Ali Nayed has a high media profile but his brothers keep out of the limelight. Rafik, who is currently vice president of the Middle East and North African business of Deutsche Bank, was a senior executive Oilinvest Netherlands in the Gaddafi era. He also ran the LIA on an interim basis prior to the arrival of Mohsen Derregia in April 2012. Reda Nayed is a communications specialist who in February launched the pro-Tobruk satellite TV station Qanat Libya in Jordan (MC n°1152).
In recent months, Aref Ali Nayed has been active in trying to extend his influence in English-speaking countries. He is making efforts, notably, to take charge of pro-Tobruk lobbying in Washington. In early 2015, his think tank, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, hired lobbying agency. Sanitas International, which itself has been receiving been backed up recently by the law firm Greenberg Traurig (MC n°1153)
Several points must be made from the article. Dr. Nayed ‘has succeeded in consolidating his contacts’ AND he ‘has been active in trying to extend his influence in English-speaking countries. He has taken ‘charge of pro-Tobruk lobbying in Washington’ with ‘his think tank, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, hired lobbying agency.’ In other words, he has attempted to extend his influence in the west by handling the pro-Tobruk lobbying through his academic think-tank which hired a Washington DC lobbyist.
In the world of the Realpolitik, ‘consolidating contacts’, ‘extending influence’ and taking ‘charge of pro-Tobruk lobbying in Washington’ are just a day’s work. But, when you add that he used ‘his think tank, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies’ as the vehicle to take charge of the ‘pro-Tobruk’ political lobbying in Washington, we wonder what is exactly is the REAL mission statement of LIAS? How does the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies with an academic curriculum fit in the Tobruk/Washington DC political landscape?
LIAS is ‘taking charge of’ Washington Lobbying for Tobruk and Dr. Nayed
According to analysis of the US Government Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) documents corroborated with Maghreb Confidential reports we can report that the Academic Institute is NOT ONLY promoting the pro-Tobruk lobbying in Washington but Dr. Nayed, himself. Again, we must ask does this, should this affect LIAS as the Local partners for the UNDEF/Rory Peck program to train journalists? As the owner/chair of LIAS, based on documented evidence of ‘consolidating contacts’, ‘extending influence’ and LIAS taking ‘charge of pro-Tobruk lobbying in Washington’ including for himself for Prime Minister – how does this affect LIAS, an academic think-tank, as the local partner to train Libyan Journalists?
Based on the lobbyist’s consultancy agreements we confirm that Dr. Nayed has been marketing his Institute, LIAS, alongside himself in Washington. His lobbyists noted in the consultancy agreement that their scope of work includes arranging meetings for BOTH LIAS and Dr. Nayed with ‘top-tier media, Congress, the Obama Administration, think tanks and other key audiences.’ As these lobbying tasks are corresponding with Dr. Nayed Vying ‘for Prime Minister’s post’, ‘On a World Tour to Blow His Horn’ and with the UNSMIL talks for the position of ’Presidential Council of Independent Personalities’, one must assume it is not just a coincidence. Nor is it a coincidence that his Academic Institute, LIAS is the vehicle in which Dr. Nayed rides into Washington to promote his bid for Libyan Prime Minister.
Two US Government FARA documents:
- FARA #5963 – 5963-Exhibit-AB-20150310-11 – Filed in March 2015:
- FARA Link#5963: http://www.fara.gov/docs/5963-Exhibit-AB-20150310-11.pdf
- OUR PDF: LIAS FARA 5963-Exhibit-AB
- FARA #5712 – 5712-Exhibit-AB-20150416-20 – Filed in APRIL 2015:
- FARA Link #5712: http://www.fara.gov/docs/5712-Exhibit-AB-20150416-20.pdf
- OUR PDF: LIAS FARA 5712-Exhibit-AB
LIAS, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, two FARA documents with Consultancy Agreements
The owner & chair of LIAS is Dr. Aref Ali Nayed as filed in two Foreign Agents Registration Act FARA registration statements filed with the US Government. As noted in the Consultancy Agreement LIAS and Dr. Nayed hired a Washington DC lobbyist, Sanitas International, Inc., on the 29 January 2015. Sanitas then ‘subcontracted’ services to firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Page 3, Exhibit B question 7). The fees were listed on page 5 as “fees for the services described above will be $25,000 per month, plus expenses, for the six-month period ending April 30, 2015, at which time this contract will expire unless extended.” The other Sanitas contract does mention on page 5 a fee contract in the consultancy agreement signed by Dr. Nayed but does not provide a copy of the other.
The term Chair of LIAS was noted on (Page 1 Exhibit A: Question 6): ‘Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, Chairman’. Control/Ownership was noted (PAGE 2 EXHIBIT A: Question 10) in both FARAs HERE & HERE. In the consultancy agreement that Dr. Nayed signed, Sanitas International noted that the lobbyist will ‘support the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) and its Chairman Dr. Aref Ali Nayed’ AND ‘helping LIAS and Dr. Aref Ali Nayed achieve your strategic goals.’ In other words, the lobbyist understood that it lobbies for Dr. Nayed as well. (Page 5)
Per our recent conversations. Sanitas International Inc. (Sanitas) is honored to support the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) and its Chairman Dr. Aref Ali Nayed during this critical transition period in North African politics.
This letter is to confirm that the LIAS wishes to retain the retention of global consulting firm, Sanitas International to support strategic communications, public affairs and outreach to key stakeholders in the United States and Europe; Our team will focus efforts to strengthen a dialogue with Western Audiences (U S and Europe) educate audiences on the current situation in Libya and to a articulate a realistic approach to improving the lives for all the Libyan people and promoting democracy and stability now and for the future of the country. Part of this effort will be to assist in a robust Western-based strategic, communications and public affairs program and to build public-private partnerships in the previous ways we have discussed and to look at other areas of opportunity, and coordination,
Sanitas International looks forward to helping LIAS and Dr. Aref Ali Nayed achieve your strategic goals with a wide range of audiences and stakeholders to include top-tier media, Congress, the Obama Administration, think tanks and other key audiences. We also look forward to a long and productive relationship with you and we are eager to begin working on your behalf and on behalf of the people of Libya.
AND corroboration of lobbying for Dr. Nayed’s come from the FARA 5963 (Page 4 Exhibit A question 8)
Sanitas will provide senior level counsel and leadership for global/U.S. media engagement, key stakeholder outreach to strengthen a dialogue with Members of Congress, Administration Officials and other key leaders in the United States to communicate the foundation and its leadership’s interests and policies for Libya.
As the lobbyist notes ‘helping LIAS and Dr. Aref Ali Nayed achieve your strategic goals’, the lobbyist acknowledges lobbying for NOT only LIAS but for Dr. Nayed as he markets to “top-tier media, Congress, the Obama Administration, think tanks and other key audiences.” As Dr. Nayed signed, do we have another example of The Libyan Presidency: Does the Road to Tripoli go through Washington DC?
Other than marketing himself in Washington DC for a position held in Libya, we have a few other difficulties with Dr. Nayed and LIAS’ FARA registration statements.
One: Questions of a ‘Foreign’ Entity
Set aside the marketing issue, both FARA #5963 & #5712 indicate that Dr. Nayed may have a serious issue about a ‘Foreign’ entity that may have ‘Directed’ his ‘private institute.’ (Page 1 Exhibit A: Question 5) HERE & HERE. The issue has to do with Page 2 EXHIBIT A: Question 8a. HERE & HERE.
The FARA document asks for a simple “YES” or “NO” answer:
- b) Is this foreign principal:
- Supervised by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal
- Owned by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal
- Directed by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal
- Controlled by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal
- Financed by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal
- Subsidized in part by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal
All the answers were “No” except when asked ‘Is this foreign principal … Directed by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal.’ The answer was ‘Yes’.
And asked to explain the lobbyist noted: ‘9. Explain fully all items answered ‘Yes’ in Item 8(b).’ The answer was:
“In addition to being the Chairman of LIAS, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is currently the Libyan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.”
We are confused why the explanation for ‘Directed by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal’, the answer is ‘In addition to being the Chairman of LIAS, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is currently the Libyan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.’ Why mention the ambassadorship? What has the ambassadorship have to do with LIAS being directed by a foreign government, political party or principal? Secondly, why wasn’t ‘Supervised, Owned, Controlled, Financed and Subsidized’ answered “YES” as the lobbyist had clearly noted Dr. Nayed owned or controlled LIAS in Question 10 ‘who owns or controls it… Dr. Aref Ali Nayed”. What as filed by the lobbyist is confusing and contradictory.
As such Dr. Nayed needs to provide full disclosure to Libya, what his ambassadorship has to do with LIAS being ‘directed by a foreign government, political party or principal.’
TWO: promote BOTH LIAS and Dr. Nayed in Washington
As it clearly noted in three places that the lobbyist knows –and Dr. Nayed signed – that the Lobbyist’s scope of work is to promote BOTH LIAS and Dr. Nayed. Coinciding is as previously noted Dr. Nayed’s bid for prime minister. Therefore; Nayed used his institution, LIAS as the vehicle to politically market his candidacy worldwide.
Hiring a lobbyist to market oneself and one’s ‘private institution’ in Washington is perfectly legal. YET, we are considering Dr. Nayed and LIAS suitability to be the local partners for the UN Development Fund pilot program for training Libyan journalists. So as Dr. Nayed has already signed to market and promote his ‘private institution’ AND himself in Washington – what would stop Dr. Nayed from using LIAS to market and promote himself in Libya?
Actually, nothing. It has already occurred. As both of his evidenced by his twitter accounts both institutions, LIAS AND KALAM RESEARCH are a tweeting tributes to their owner/chair, Dr. Nayed. In fact, the institutes have tweeted and retweeted about Dr. Nayed accomplishments and his latest works. For example:
Another example: this from LIAS:
Tweeting and retweeting quotes/works/accomplishments about Dr. Nayed are not infrequent with LIAS. We add our PDF images of two strings of LIAS tweets discussing Dr. Nayed and his accomplishments. Yet, once again, if Institutes Kalam and LIAS have been documented in promoting their chair/owner Dr. Nayed – what about Libyan journalists selected & trained by LIAS? By example, why would we believe that journalists would be any different than his institutes when it comes to promotion of Dr. Nayed? OUR PDFs : Dr Nayed in ‘LIAS (@LibyaInstitute) Twitter’ 1 & Dr. Nayed in ‘LIAS (@LibyaInstitute) Twitter’2
Again- being the owner/chairman of both these academic institutions is perfectly legitimate and legal, as is their right to boast the accomplishments of their chairman/owner – but once again the problem is that when LIAS begin to train Libyan journalists. BASED on reports, documents and tweets, examples of ‘consolidating contacts’, ‘extending influence’, ‘media baron’, ‘taking charge of pro-Tobruk lobbying in Washington’ and an academic institute has demonstrated that it is the vehicle to promote owner/chair Dr. Nayed in BOTH Washington and Libya, how does this affect LIAS independence as it co-selected, co-training and employing future Libyan journalists?
As we know, in a democracy like Libya is striving to be, “An independent press is probably one of the most effective institutions to uncover trespassing by government officials. The reason is that any independent journalist has a strong incentive to investigate and uncover stories on wrongdoing.” (Page 1802) Will these Libyan Journalists be truly free without influence to do their job? How does this affect LIAS as the Local partners for the UNDEF/RORY PECK Trust program to train journalists?
Reality Check 1:
- We have noted: Dr. Nayed, according to Maghreb Confidential has a network of influence.
- We have noted: Dr. Nayed, according to Maghreb Confidential is playing a ‘Media Baron’
- We have noted: Dr. Nayed signed to use his academic institute, LIAS in Washington to promoted BOTH LIAS AND himself.
- We have noted: His academic institutes, LIAS and Kalam Research have promoted Dr. Nayed’s accomplishments/latest works in tweets retweets.
In our next article we will provide three further illustrations on why we believe that UNDEF should reconsider its local partners.
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