Libya: Rada raids Comic Con, arrests over 20 organisers, participants and spectators

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From the Libya Herald

The Rada Special Deterrence Force, led by Salafi Islamist Abdulraouf Kara, raided the Comic Con exhibition yesterday evening ad arrested over 20 organizers, participants and visitors – organizers informed Libya Herald. The exhibition displays comics, cartoons, art work, games and people dressed up in costumes of their action heroes.

They stormed the exhibition at the Dat Al-Imad conference centre in Tripoli without warning, causing mayhem and confusion to those attending the event.

‘‘It was around 5.45 that they came’’, one of the organisers told this publication. ‘‘They arrested over 20 people. Organisers, participants and visitors. Anyone who was wearing a badge, including visitors, were arrested – thinking they were organisers because they wore a badge’’, a frightened organiser said on the basis of anonymity.

‘‘They arrested six members of the main organising committee who are still under arrest. I just spoke to one of their mothers this morning’’.

Asked why they were arrested, the organiser said that they were accused of a number of crimes against public morals and Islam. These included agnosticism, atheism, holding masonic ideas, believing in Halloween, distorting the minds of youth, and kufer (abandoning Islam).

The organiser said that they were shocked by the actions of Rada in view of the fact that they had obtained permission and approval from the Nawasi militia force in charge of security for the Dat Il Imad office complex. The event was also held last year.

Moreover, the organisers also signed a contract and paid rent to the Dat Al-Imad management which included a clause that prohibited any activity in Comi Con against public morals. ‘‘They said they would remove anything they did not like. We had agreed. They had made no comments to us during the event’’, the organiser added.

‘‘Some of those who were released had received a beating, had had their head shaved bald and were given a religious lecture. They were told that Libya was a Muslim country, not a free/liberal country’’, he explained.

Let me repeat that  – a Muslim country not a free/liberal country

 

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