Updated Tuesday, 12 p.m. EST
The Islamic extremist group that captured and threatened to kill 12 gay men via posts and pictures on Facebook has said it will handover the group to Libya's Ministry of Justice. Details follow.
A leader in the Al Nawasi militia has come forward to say that his group will handover the 12 gay men it captured Thursday night to Libya's Ministry of Justice.
According to Libya Herald:
Members of the Nawasi Brigade’s so-called ‘Private Deterrent Force’ picked the men up at a party in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district on Thursday evening, after receiving complaints of loud music from neighbours in the area.
Fears had been raised for the men’s safety after a picture of the group appeared on the brigade’s Facebook page, accompanied by text describing them as “the third sex” and threats to mutilate and execute them.
“Execution will never happen”, said a senior member of the Nawasi brigade today, who requested to remain anonymous. “We are handing them over to the Ministry of Justice”.
The brigadesman said that the primary reason for the men’s arrest was the loud noise they were making that evening, not because they were believed to be homosexual.
“These guys are not straight, but that’s not the main reason we arrested them”, he continued. “The main thing was the big noise they were making to the neighbours, as well as the large amounts of alcohol and hashish we found”.
Asked why threats had been made on Facebook, the Nawasi leader put it down to poor command and control. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a [communications] office; we have about three guys mainly working from home and we can’t always control what’s posted. We are trying to upgrade but we haven’t received a proposal of how to do it."
Unfortunately, Libya's Ministry of Justice has not yet confirmed the handover from the militia.
One of Libya's many Islamic extremist militias is receiving international attention today after posting photos of 12 men its members kidnapped, tortured and plan to execute to Facebook.
The men were arrested on Thursday, November 22 at a private house party in a suburb of Tripoli. Human Rights Watch Libya has identified the Salafist extremists as the Al-Nawasi Militia, an organization that has recently claimed it is part of the LIbyan Ministry of the Interior and therefore working for the government. It claims on its Facebook page that the 12 men were arrested in the midst of group sex and promises to mutilate and execute them for "their crime."
Gay Star News has more:
The group boasted by posting the pictures of the men on Facebook, describing them as the ‘third sex’ (a term used in the Arab Gulf area to denote ‘queers’) including one of the men who had a henna ‘tattoo’ on his back.
One of the pictures was accompanied by the Quranic call 'there is no power but the power of Allah!'
At the time of writing, the picture of the men received 121 likes, 118 shares, and mainly violent comments such as ‘flog them hard!', ‘let them see bullets!’, ‘free Libya! [ie from gays]’, ‘ride them like camels’ and so on.
Human Rights Watch Libya left a comment saying the organization hopes the men will not be treated inhumanely and called upon the militia to hand the men to the civil authorities (the comment received no likes).
The militia Facebook page entitled as the ‘special deterrence unit’ boasted that the men were captured doing the ‘practices of the people of Lot’ (ie gay sex) and that they are to be mutilated and executed.
The photos are receiving hundreds of likes and comments on Facebook, most of which support the murder of the group of men.
An LGBT acitivst working under the nickname Khaleed explained the troubling situation to Gay Star News.
"We never had any gay nightclubs in Libya, so it is not uncommon for Libyans - straight, bisexual and gay men to party in a private space, drink, dance, have fun and sometimes even have sex," he said. "The situation for LGBT people after the revolution generally improved, people can meet each other more easily than under the Qadaffi [Gadaffi] regime, although, of course we still have to be very discreet and careful. Many of us fear that some of the militias [there are over 250 of them in the country], which are extreme Islamists who are very well armed and financed, will focus on the LGBT community and hunt us down.The police is largely absent or powerless so Libyan civil society has a real problem; the militias often take the law onto their own hands."
"That fact that they were captured by this extreme Salafist militia is very worrying," Khaleed added. "That the Al Nawasi militia claims they are now part of the Ministry of Interior is very worrying; this move should be unacceptable to the public and to civil society groups."