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Libya: linking image of Omar Mukhtar to Al-Sisi is offensive, says government

Libyan freedom fighter Omar Al-Mukhtar
Libyan freedom fighter Omar Al-Mukhtar, 26 July 2019 [Twitter]

The General Authority for Culture in Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) has condemned the Syrian singer Assala Nasri for showing a poster of Libyan hero Omar Al-Mukhtar next to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in her recent promotional video.

"This is an insult to all Libyans," said the GNA. "Omar Al-Mukhtar's character cannot be compared to a war criminal who killed his people and seized power in a military coup, and has also participated in the killing of Libyans by supporting the militia of Major General Khalifa Haftar."

The authority vowed not to tolerate the appearance of Omar Al-Mukhtar's poster next to Al-Sisi. It has filed an official complaint against the Syrian singer in local and international courts, as well as the artists' union.

Nasri sparked the controversy after the release of her new song, "Love and Peace". The accompanying video includes images of political leaders, including the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

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The video has prompted controversy on social media. Al Jazeera presenter Ghada Owais criticised the singer: "Tell us for God's sake! Now Al Assad is no longer a dictator? Singing for Al-Sisi? Is he more democratic and just than Al Assad?"

"Love and Peace" was written by Muhammad Rahim and produced by Mustafa Ismail. The song calls for spreading peace in the whole world with the help of different nationalities which appeared in the video.

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