(CN) – The European Union’s lower court on Tuesday lifted restrictive measures against the daughter of slain Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, finding no good reason for her continued inclusion on the EU’s blacklist.
After the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprisings developed into protests against widespread corruption in the Gadhafi regime and eventually threw Libya into civil war, EU lawmakers adopted restrictive measures against several people associated with Gadhafi – including his daughter Aisha.
In 2014, lawmakers amended the measures to include elements that did not apply to Aisha, but her name remained on the blacklist. Until 2015, the sole reason given for the restrictive measures against her were “Daughter of Moammar Gadhafi; closeness of association with regime.”
Aisha challenged her continued inclusion on the EU blacklist, arguing lawmakers had not given her concrete reasons for the restrictive measures against her as required by law. And in a 15-page opinion issued Tuesday, the European General Court agreed.
Noting that EU lawmakers did not contest that the situation in Libya has changed a great deal since they blacklisted Aisha – militants overthrew Gadhafi and killed him in 2011 – the Luxembourg-based court said that “in a context that is substantially different from that which prevailed in 2011, statements such as ‘daughter of Moammar Gadhafi’ and ‘closeness of association with regime’ do not make it possible to understand the individual, specific and concrete reasons why the applicant’s name was retained on the list of persons subject to restrictive measures.”
Furthermore, the court said even if Gadhafi were still alive and in power or his supporters were continuing to play a role in the current situation in Libya, the scant reason given for Aisha’s continued inclusion on the blacklist wouldn’t pass legal muster.
The court ordered the EU to lift restrictive measures against Aisha – which included an asset freeze and a ban on travel to and within the European Union – and to pay the woman’s legal fees.