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Libyan Journalist Visa

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Information regarding Libyan journalist visa is difficult to find online. Temehu.com has created this webpage to meet the demand for such information. We have contacted the Foreign Media Department (FMD) in Tripoli regarding the issue of "journalist visa" and they have confirmed the following process to us.

After the 2014 military coup in Tripoli and the subsequent exile of the elected government to Cyrenaica, another foreign media department was established in Benghazi in 2015. This media department is called: the Foreign Media Authority (FMA) (هيئة الإعلام الخارجي). The FMA is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the transitional government in Albayda. Their English website is: http://foreignmediaauthority-ly.com/en/  .

 

Journalist Visa Process

The process is divided into two stages:

Stage 1 (before arrival):

  • You need to visit the nearest Libyan Embassy and apply for journalist visa. We were informed that nearly all applications are approved without any difficulties.

  • The embassy then requests the "approval" from the FMD in Tripoli.

  • The FMD then sends the approval to the embassy, together with the customs clearance (for the equipment to be brought into the country).

  • Then you need to re-visit the embassy to provide a list of all the equipment to be brought into Libya.

  • Finally the embassy issues the visa stamp and the customs clearance for the equipment.

 

Stage 2 (after arrival):

  • With the visa stamp in your passport you travel to Libya.

  • After arrival in Libya, your first point of contact is the FMD (Foreign Media Department) in Tripoli, to provide them with a full list of all the sites you would like to visit or film.

  • Finally, the FMD will issue the necessary paper work: 'permission' to film the listed sites, and an 'ID', which you must carry with you at all times.

 

Can journalists visit any site in Libya including the Sahara?

The authorities have informed us that journalist-ID holders can go anywhere in the country including war zones. If you intend to visit or film desert sites then you need to include those sites in the list of the sites you intend to film. If you secure permission from the FMD for the whole list (as of the above procedure) then you can visit and film in all the sites  approved in list. It is therefore necessary to include all the sites you intend to visit in the list before you submit it to the FMD.

 

Notes

  • There are some reports stating a number of cases where journalists were refused journalist visa; some of whom had demanded from the new "rulers" of Libya to allow journalists free access to Libya to report the "democratic process" taking place in Libya.

  • We were informed by the FMD that the process is more guaranteed for smaller groups, say two or three journalists, and that small applications (for small groups) are processed quicker than those for larger groups.

  • Security: generally speaking it is okay to travel in Libya, and in fact there are quite a number of foreign journalists in Libya. There are no reports of any of these being harmed in any way. There were a couple of cases of journalists being detained, before they were released, but their cases were political and had nothing to do with 'safety'. One British journalist was detained and her camera was confiscated by the Libyan authorities, in relation to reporting from inside a camp for Tawerghan refugees. She was eventually left to return to the UK.

  • Always let the authorities know exactly what you intended to do in Libya, who you intend to interview, and where you plan to go (as per the list of approved sites).

  • Please make sure you have written authorisation to visit and report from all the sites you intend to visit. Also make sure you carry all documentation and your FMD-approved ID with you at all times.

  • We can arrange for an English-speaking guide to go with you to the FMD to assist with completing Stage 2 of the above procedure, like providing translation and preparing the list of sites to be visited; but the visa process must be initiated at the nearest Libyan embassy.

 

Update:

From the 31 of August 2014 journalists wishing to cover Cyrenaica's HoR (House of Representatives) from inside the House of Representatives headquarters in Tobruk need to follow the new guidelines set by the HoR on the 31 of August 2014, as follows:

  • Journalist are allowed entry according to the following conditions:
  • Every day for one hour after the HoR sessions end, to cover the news of the day. Meaning no attendance during live sessions.
  • Entry allowed during press conferences.
  • Entry allowed for interviews (with HoR members) according to permissions granted by the media department.
  • Providing the journalist provides the following:

    • Journalist ID showing his employer
    • A letter from the employer authorising the journalist to cover the news at the HoR
    • Restricting oneself to the exclusively designated journalist areas inside the HoR.

 

journalist permissions

Instructions for journalists wishing to cover  the meetings of the House of Representatives in Tobruk