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Hardline Libya group breaks up 'indecent' comic festival Open in fullscreen

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Hardline Libya group breaks up 'indecent' comic festival

The arrests cut short the Comic Con festival of arts, comics, anime and gaming. [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 November, 2017

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An Islamist 'anti-crime' group in Libya's Tripoli said it had arrested organisers of a comic festival for 'acts of indecency and against public morals'.

An Islamist anti-crime group in Libya's Tripoli said it had arrested organisers of a comic festival for "acts of indecency and against public morals".

The Special Deterrence Force (Rada) led by Abdel Rauf Kara is a Salafist-styled group which fought to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi but now acts as a hard-line police force targeting alcohol, drugs and IS sympathisers in Tripoli.

The group - which has expanded its power under Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) - made the arrests on Friday, cutting short the second three-day annual Comic Con festival of arts, comics, anime and gaming.

Rada said in its statement that festivals like Comic Con were "derived from abroad and exploit weakness of religious faith and fascination with foreign cultures".

"The organisers and supervisors of the event were arrested and will be presented for public prosecution for acts of indecency and against public morals," it said in a statement.

"It is necessary to address these destructive phenomena and fight them, which drive the dissemination of pornography and feed the minds of teenagers and motivate them to kill and mutilate through well-known cartoons."

Some Libyans had attacked the festival's organisers on social media for holding the event, saying it resembled Halloween and was un-Islamic.

The Comic Con organisers said on Facebook that the event had nothing to do with Halloween, but posted no immediate comment on the detentions.

Libya has been in turmoil since Islamist militants took advantage since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule.

Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi have left Libya divided between rival governments and beset by violence as militia forces battle for power.

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