According to Gay Star News (GSN), the militia captured the men during a private party in Ain Zara, a suburb of Tripoli, on Thursday, November 22. Since then, the “special deterrence unit” has posted pictures to its Facebook page referring to the men as the “third sex,” an Arabic term to describe homosexuals, and they are threatening to harm (and kill) the men. The pictures have been filled with comments, such as “flog them hard!”
Human Rights Watch Libya posted a comment to the militia’s Facebook page asking that the group not harm the men and “to hand [them] to the civil authorities.”
The militia group, which claims to be a legal part of the Libyan Ministry of Interior, has not responded. The human rights group has since identified them as the Al-Nawasi militia — a group of extreme Salafists.
While the situation for LGBT people since Qadaffi [Gadaffi] regime has improved, it’s still very dangerous for the community. A Libyan LGBT activist told GSN:
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. That fact that they were captured by this extreme Salafist militia is very worrying.
For more on the story, head over to GSN.