Vigilante group rounds up gay men in Libya

A vigilante group calling itself the Private Deterrent Force claims to have seized 12 gay men in Libya and is reportedly threatening to kill them.

A photograph (above) posted on the group's Facebook page shows the men with their heads covered and their hands up, facing a wall.

A note with the photograph says:

"The Private Deterrent Force arrested 12 young men 'of the third sex' from various parts of Libya last night [Thursday]. They were in a gathering in a resthouse in the Ain Zara district [of Tripoli] practising the customs of sodomites ..."

The group reports various other vigilante actions on its Facebook page, including seizures of drugs and alcohol.

The Libya Herald says the Private Deterrent Force is believed to be part of the extremist Nawasi militia which has previously been linked to the desecration of Sufi shrines in Tripoli and claims to be under the authority of the Interior Ministry.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 26 November 2012.