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Libyan lawyers back revolution

Around 200 Libyan lawyers and judges have added their voices to the uprising against Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi by staging a sit-in at a courthouse.The Associated Press reports that security…

Around 200 Libyan lawyers and judges have added their voices to the uprising against Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi by staging a sit-in at a courthouse.

The Associated Press reports that security forces have surrounded the courthouse.

The legal community in Libya has been unequivocal in urging an end to repression and violence against protesters, with the Libyan Justice Minister Mustapha Abdel Jalil resigning in protest at the use of excessive force against the protesters.

In addition to the uprising in Egypt that ousted Hosni Mubarak, a key spark in the Libyan uprising was the arrest of human rights lawyer Fathi Tarbal on 14 February. He was freed after protesters called for his release and the release of other lawyers arrested that day.

Colonel Gaddafi has been the leader of Libya since 1969. Opposition groups claim that over 500 protesters have been killed since Libyans took to the streets and demanded Gaddafi's removal and political reform.

While Gaddafi has not yet stepped down, it has been reported that demonstrators have control of Libya's second city, Benghazi, and have also taken control of significant parts of the capital Tripoli.

In Egypt, lawyers dressed in black robes teamed up with doctors in white coats and joined protesters in Tahir Square in a move that commentators said gave the protest movement greater momentum and legitimacy.

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