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Tripoli Spring
How Libya's behind-the-scenes reformer is actually, well, reforming.
By Sarah Leah Whitson
MAY 27, 2009, 12:00 AM
MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty ImagesOut of a feudal past: Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, might be just the sort of modernizer Libya needs.
The story making headlines this week is the death of Libya’s foremost dissident, Fathi al-Jahmi, in a hospital in Jordan. A former provincial governor whose campaign for free speech and democracy landed him in prison in 2002, Jahmi’s death resurrects concerns about the police state in Libya today. Yet if his untimely death brings the struggle for democracy to the forefront of conversation, there is much to update from the situation that first condemned Jahmi to spend his final days under police guard. What Fathi al-Jahmi died for is starting to spread in the country. For the first time in memory, change is in the air in Libya.
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