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Since the end of international sanctions against Libya, leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam has symbolized hope in the West that a secretive, authoritarian oil and gas exporter can reform itself from within.
The sharp-suited, western-educated Islam has called for a new constitution, a freer press and an independent judiciary, music to the ears of the U.S. and of European governments all desperate to give a moral basis to their re-engagement with the oil-rich north African state.
Islam took the end of diplomatic isolation as the cue to press for a cautious public debate among ordinary Libyans about their future.
Two newspapers and a TV station linked to Islam have been holding government officials to account for their failings.