On 3 November the Libyan Special Deterrent Forces (military police) shut down Tripoli’s second annual Libya Comic Con festival. The SDF led by Salafi Islamist Abdulraouf Kara raided the Dat Al-Imad conference centre in Tripoli around 5:45 p.m. They arrested more than 20 people including organizers, participants, and visitors according to eyewitness as reported by the Libya Herald. According to the eyewitnesses, some of those arrested were released the same evening; however six of the main organisers remained under arrest at the time and were being held under numerous charges, including violating morality and Islam, and incitement to violence due to some artwork featuring violent scenes and weapons. Some artwork was also reportedly confiscated. The BBC describes the SDF as a “conservative Islamist group” that is “loyal to the UN-backed government of National Accord. On the same day, the military police published a statement on their Facebook page stating that photos of event participants published on social media caused “a widespread public outpouring of criticism”, which led them to shut down the event, further stating: “It is necessary to address these destructive phenomena and fight them because these famous cartoons encourage the dissemination of pornography, influence teenagers and motivate them to kill and use sharp tools. Such festivals, inspired from abroad, exploit the weakness of religious faith and their fascination with foreign cultures. The organisers and supervisors of this festival have been arrested and will be presented to the Public Prosecution for their acts of dishonesty and violation of public morality.” In a 7 November statement, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya expressed its concern about the arrest and shut down, and called for the immediate release of those detained, saying that “freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental to human rights”. http://boundingintocomics.com/2017/11/08/armed-men-shut-comic-book-conv… https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/libya-crackdown-comi… In these febrile times it feels necessary to add that this blog is not an anti- Muslim thing - the comic con was a Muslim one. It is anti bullying and bigotry. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/art/art_1.shtml

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