By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 28 January 2017:
The National Human Rights Commission in Libya has called for urgent international action to stop the escalation against Libyan writers and intellectuals following the confiscation of books in Marj this week.
It said the Islamic authorities of the Beida-based interim government had set a dangerous precedent with their actions. The commission claimed that mosques in eastern Libya had attacked the secularism and philosophy in the confiscated books on Friday.
The Tripoli-based commission called on the UN to take action against the “shameful and serious” acts carried out by the ministry of Awqaf and religious affairs and alleged that sheikh Mohammed Drissi had attacked a writer called Khalil Hassi, calling him a Shi’ite infidel.
The commission pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its clause dealing with freedom of expression, saying the book ban violated this.
The commission said it completely rejected acts of intimidation against journalists and writers. Clampdowns on freedom of expression and cultural and political diversity signified a state devoid of any sort democracy, it added.
It has recently been alleged that some mosques in west Libya ar coming under the increasing influence of hard-line Salafi clerics who despise the sort of work confiscated by the authorities in Marj.
The books seized allegedly promoted a variety of religions, secularism, atheism, the Muslim Brotherhood and pornography. They included the works of Dan Brown and Friedrich Nietzsche.