MP files briefing request on Egyptians kidnapped in Libya

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 Feb 2023

Egyptian MP and journalist Mostafa Bakry has filed a briefing request with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry regarding the measures taken by the ministry to secure the release six Egyptian Christian workers who have been kidnapped and held for ransom in Libya for over a week.

Egypt, Libya
File photo: Egyptians who fled from Libya through the Salloum land port gate carry their belongings at the Egyptian-Libyan border,Saturday 21 Jan 2017 , in Salloum, Egypt. AP


In a statement on Thursday, Bakry called for an urgent meeting with Shoukry and the ministry's foreign relations committee to discuss the measures being taken to secure the release of the abductees, who he said had entered Libya legally with visas.

The workers were abducted while traveling by land to Sabratha in search of job opportunities, Bakry said in a tweet today.

The six workers are from Al-Harja Qibli village in Al-Balina town, Sohag, Upper Egypt, according to Bakry.

The MP has called for the foreign ministry to take action: “What has the Egyptian foreign ministry done to release the Egyptian citizens?” Bakry said on Twitter.

Egyptian Coptic channel MESat played a recording of a phone call on Monday between one of the hostages and his family, where he said that the kidnappers were asking for 15,000 Libyan dinars per person, a total of 90,000 Libyan dinars (EGP 570,600, or $18,702).

In the phone call, the hostage said he and the other victims were each being fed a single loaf of bread a day, adding that the kidnappers have been holding a large number of other hostages for months.

Washington-based international human-rights group Coptic Solidarity, which is concerned with the rights of Copts in Egypt, said the families of the hostages were appealing to the Egyptian government to take the threats seriously and provide urgent help.

The victims say they are ready to sell their village homes to obtain the ransom money, Coptic Solidarity reported.

Many Egyptian workers have been abducted in different parts in Libya over the past decade amid the turbulent political and security situation, but have been repatriated by the Egyptian authorities.

Many on social media have voiced concerns over this latest kidnapping, especially since it comes almost exactly eight years after ISIS beheaded 20 Egyptian Christians and a Ghanaian Christian in Sirte in February 2015.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced last September that ISIS terrorist Al-Mahdi Dangou, the mastermind behind the 2015 massacre, had been killed.

A few hours after the beheadings, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched airstrikes against camps and ISIS hotbeds in Derna in eastern Libya. The Libyan Air Force said 40 to 50 ISIS members were killed during the Egyptian airstrikes, which were carried out in cooperation with Libyan forces.

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