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Arab League denounces detention, abuse of Egyptian workers in Libya

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Jun 2020
File Photo: Arab league building in cairo (Photo: AFP)
File Photo: Arab league building in cairo (Photo: AFP)
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The Arab League has condemned the detention and abuse of a large group of Egyptian workers in Libya.

Footage circulating in recent days on social media appears to show militias loyal to Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) assaulting tens of Egyptian workers captured in the western city of Tarhuna.

The video showed the Egyptian workers forced to stand barefoot on one leg with their hands raised. The men appeared to be repeating, on an unidentified man’s order, expletives against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Libya's eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar.

The Arab League welcomed in a statement on Tuesday the GNA’s statement in which it vowed to launch an investigation into the video's authenticity and arrest and punish the perpetrators of what it described as a "criminal act".

The video has sparked outrage in Egypt, with Emigration Minister Nabila Makram saying it "will not pass lightly".

On Tuesday, the United Nations expressed alarm about the incident, while calling on Libyan authorities to "conduct a prompt investigation".

The Arab League underscored "the illegitimacy of methods of detaining, insulting, and torturing civilians, both Libyans and non-Libyans as a means of delivering political messages,” the statement added.

In its statement, the bloc also expressed concern over the discovery of a number of mass graves mostly in the city of Tarhouna in recent days.

Eight mass graves were discovered in an area evacuated this month by Haftar's forces, AFP reported. The UN said it noted the discovery "with horror".

“A source at the Arab League warned of the danger of reprisal killings on the fabric of the Libyan society and on the success of the political course and ceasefire efforts,” the statement said.

The Arab League also expressed its readiness to cooperate with the Libyan authorities in both incidents.

Egypt has supported east-based military commander Khalifa Hifter who is fighting the forces of the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, which is backed by Turkey.

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