‘Black magic’ accusation causes diplomatic incident

If you thought that accusations of witchcraft were a thing of the very distant past, this news might surprise you.

Libya has been forced to apologise after detaining a UN official on suspicion of “black magic.”

The Guardian reports that Ahmed Ghanem, an observer to the trial of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, was detained by guards in the Tripoli prison where the trial is being held. The guards accused of him of having occult written materials on his person, before posting images of his identity card and possessions on social media.

A statement by the UN stability mission in Libya (Unsmil) read: “Unsmil was dismayed by the detention of Mr Ghanem for an hour and a half as well as what followed in terms of defamation and false accusations through some social media pages.” Since then, they have received an official apology and a guarantee to respect the diplomatic immunity of UN officials.

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