An armed Libyan group attacked and closed a comic book convention in Tripoli over the weekend. The organizers were detained for an “attack on morals and modesty.”
This was the city’s second comic convention and hundreds attended it before it was cut short, even cosplaying as their favorite characters. The arrests came on the second of the three day event.
That same day, the Special Deterrence Force (Rada) entered the venue arresting the organizers and seizing materials. The group are Salafist’s, ultra-conservative “reform branch” who are Sunni Islamists. The group claimed the organizers “preyed” on the city youth and were going to hand over those seized to prosecutors. The group sees themselves as an “anti-crime unit.”
Rada in a statement said the Comic Con was:
…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 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 convention on social media claiming it was un-Islamic and a “Halloween party.”
Since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, militia groups have stepped in to fill the security vacuum that has been created under the U.N.-back Government of National Accord.
Check out a video below from last year’s debut convention: