Military Governor : Ban on Libyan Women Travelling Alone to Prevent Espionage
YouTube: General Naduri Explains Ban on Women Travelling (52:16mins)
Mohammed Zidan: Our discussion is the decree by Chief of Staff of the Army, General Abdul Razaq Naduri. Welcome.
General Naduri: Hello, my brother, Mohammed.
Mr General, you know what is being said, and the anger and the discussion on social media, regarding this Decree №6, which was issued by you. Firstly, (for the sake of transparency) what is the reason behind this decree, because Libyans want to understand what is the benefit of this decree. The question is, why now?
My dear brother, we are all aware of the many plots being hatched against Libya at this time from every side — political, military and even social. We took this decision for the security of Libya and our goal is to protect the country. There are conspiracies from our enemies from every side, and they are raining down on us with civil society organisations (so many) that you cannot even count them. And we were unaware about the dangers of these organisations.
Our young women are travelling to every place by the dozens — to Switzerland, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey. Why? Have we no men that only women are travelling? And they (the women) have been infiltrated with foreign intelligence like the British, Italian, Turkish and so.
This decree has been taken for the security of Libya only, and has nothing to do with the religion or politics or anything. It is because of the security breaches that were uncovered by the local security service and hence the decree banning women from travelling without a guardian. At least she will be supervised by her brother, husband or father.
But young girls—30 girls from the Eastern region and 30 girls from the Western region — they send them airline tickets from Switzerland, and they get on the airplanes without any supervision.
We are responsible for the security of Libya, the people and our forces. We have a lot of problems with women coming from overseas. They land at the airport, their passports are not stamped, and they go back to Turkey and other countries. Therefore we issued this decree until the security is restored in the country.
Those who are conspiring against us, and everywhere there is the Muslim Brotherhood and deviant groups, and those working for the foreign intelligence services, and you see them clearly on the TV everyday, and how people are committing treachery in Libya.
Mr General, there are those who are saying if the issue concerns spying or cooperating with foreign countries, are there no provisions in Libyan law prohibiting cooperation with a foreign country outside the offical government? Isn’t it better to exercise this law rather than preventing women under 60 years of age from travelling without a guardian? And the issue of a guardian, is creating a lot of talk that this is to keep the religious sides happy.
No, no, we should not listen to this. These are only the arguments of the weak side, who will resort to anything. We took this decision for the security of Libya. We are going step by step. Libyan law does not permit cooperation with foreign countries. We have pre-existing and strong laws in the country which do not permit cooperation with foreign countries, and anyone who does will be prosecuted.
We learnt that a few young women are cooperating with foreign intelligence services, whether she’s aware of it or not. We don’t accuse the Libyan women, but after the investigation of a few cases we found that young women are travelling overseas. They take them, my goodness Mohammed, a group of Libyan ladies, foreign countries, send them airline tickets and book them into hotels. Why? What is the price? The price is to give away information about the country. So they are being charitable,Turkey, Italy or Switzerland, when they send 50 to 60 ladies airline tickets, and accommodation in the hotels? Why? What, they think they’re going to liberate Ganfouda (area in Benghazi) over there?
I have received 100s and dozens of questions, but let me ask two final questions. I know your time is limited so I’ll be direct. There are some critics, even Ziyad Daghim, a member of parliament, said your decree is illegal and discriminatory under the constitutional law. Also, ordinary Libyans and women see it as the banning of travel today, and tomorrow banning them from holding leadership roles and other things. That is what Libyans are saying. What is your response?
No, we respect Libyan women. We have some working as officers in the Libyan forces, and there are ladies driving cars by themselves. As long as she is in Libya, she is free. As long as she is inside her country she can do what she likes. But when she travels overseas, we have to keep our eyes on her and watch where she is going. But my brother Mohammed, we are Libyans, they (the women) don’t understand the consequences. How, 30 women travelling overseas and accommodation is being booked for them and they will get a free ticket and they go? Does Mr Ziyad Daghim know what they are doing overseas?
And, Mr Ziyad Daghim, I respect the law and the parliament. We shouldn’t discuss it in the media. Either come to my office or I will go to them in the parliament.
Shouldn’t there be details for this decree? Because the airport director he said he was not given any details from the Ministry of Interior and it is difficult to implement this decree at this time.
Well, honestly, we’ll work it out with the Interior … if he does not want to implement, we will sort it out later.
How about the details?
Yes, there are going to be details later on, God willing. But we have to prevent the dangers with the ladies traveling overseas. We have to stop them travelling and then we will give the details of the decree.