June 19, 2018

Authors protest as Libyan authorities confiscate books

Authors protest as Libyan authorities confiscate books

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho joined more than 100 Libyan writers and intellectuals Monday in condemning security forces for seizing books deemed “erotic” or anti-Islamic.

Coelho’s books were among those seized by authorities in the eastern Libyan town of Marj over the weekend.

Security forces there published a video on Facebook over the weekend showing dozens of books imported from Egypt that were seized from a truck heading from Tobruk to Benghazi.  “Contacting the Brazilian embassy,” Coelho tweeted on Monday. “There’s little they can do but I can’t just sit and watch my books being burned.”

Brazil’s diplomatic mission to Libya is based in neighbouring Tunisia. The books also included works by Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning novelist Naguib Mahfouz and Arabic translations of books by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and American writer Dan Brown.

In the video, a security official and religious leaders in the town denounced a “cultural invasion”, claiming the books contained information on Shiaism, Christianity, and sorcery, as well as erotic material that conflicts with the Sunni Islam followed by most Libyans. Read more 

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