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Libya security body says Iraqi influencer in its custody after kidnap fears

A security body linked to one of Libya’s two rival governments has said it detained an Iraqi-Libyan social media influencer for ‘inappropriate’ posts, according to reports.

Dalya Farhoud, a fashion and beauty content creator, was taken from her home in Janzour, west of Tripoli by armed men on Thursday night, sparking fears she had been kidnapped.

Ahmed Salem, spokesman for the Deterrence Agency for Combating Terrorism and Organised Crime, said Saturday night that Farhoud “was not kidnapped as some claim, but arrested in an official manner with the knowledge of the public prosecution”.

Farhoud had in part been arrested because her content is not appropriate for Libyan society, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported Salem as saying.

Farhoud, who currently has more than 600,000 followers on Instagram, is under investigation, he added.

The comments followed an Iraqi foreign ministry statement that denounced the reported kidnapping.

The agency is affiliated with the Tripoli-based interior ministry. Libya currently has two rival governments, one based in Tripoli and the other in the western city of Tobruk.

Farhoud and her family have lived in Libya since 1998, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

As well as beauty and fashion content, she has also posted lip-syncs to, and translations of, English-language songs.

Comments left under her most recent videos offer prayers for her safety.

Women in the MENA region with a big social media presence are vulnerable to arrest and attack.

Iraqi YouTuber Taiba Ali was killed by her father last month after returning to Iraq from her home in Turkey, according to reports.

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