By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 22 January 2017:
A bitter row has broken out in eastern Libya over the decision by the military authorities in Marj, headquarters of Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter and the Libyan National Army, to confiscate a truckload of books.
The head of the Beida-based interim government’s information and culture authority, Khaled Najm has condemned yesterday’s move as “a flagrant violation of freedom of thought”, according to the Beida-based, pro-HoR and usually pro-Hafter office of the Libya news agency LANA. It was “unacceptable”, he said. The books confiscated had already been vetted by his authority to ensure they were not cause for scandal, he insisted.
Condemnation also came from various Libyan writers and academics. The Libyan writers’ union added that the confiscation amounted to the suppression of freedom of thought and was a dangerous sign, LANA reported.
A spokesman for Marj security directorate howver, claimed that the books, imported from Egypt, had not been confiscated, they had merely been impounded pending an assessment of whether or not they were acceptable. The ministry of Awqaf and religious affairs had been contacted as part of those investigations, he added.
The criminal investigations department in Marj is meanwhile reported by LANA claiming among the books seized were a number promoting, variously, Shi’ism, Sufism, Christianity, Judaism, secularism, atheism, the Muslim Brotherhood and pornography.