Six Egypt Christians Abducted In Libya
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
CAIRO/TRIPOLI (Worthy News) – There was concern Thursday about the plight of six Egyptian Christians abducted in Libya after previous killings of Christian believers there.
The six men, all from the village of Alharja South in Suhag, had traveled to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for work, Christians said.
However, they were reportedly stopped at an illegal checkpoint while traveling from the airport to their place of employment. Their Libyan driver was released immediately, but the Christians were moved to an unknown location, sources familiar with the case said.
Egyptian journalist Nader Shukry, who closely followed the incident, said he learned that the kidnappers want a ransom of 15,000 Libyan Dinars ($3,100) per captive.
Hani Sadrak, whose brother and three cousins are among the victims, reportedly said the families could not afford these ransoms without selling their homes. He urged the Egyptian president and government to intervene.
Sadrak also reported that he had spoken to his cousin Abdu Juda Sadrak over the phone, who told him they were held in a tiny room with many others of different nationalities.
He reportedly described their circumstances as a “living hell,” adding that they were beaten daily and received very little food.
The abduction happened days before the anniversary of the murders of 21 Egyptian Christians by the Islamic State group fighters in Libya on February 15, 2015.
The killings prompted Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to launch air strikes against IS in Libya and declare the victims ‘national martyrs.’ Additionally, the Coptic Orthodox Church designated February 15 as the annual Contemporary Martyrs Day.
Advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) expressed concerns about the situation.
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas called the “latest brutality committed against Egyptian Christians in Libya.”
He said the “fact that these men were abducted so soon upon arrival and are being held with many other foreign nationals highlights the prevalence of kidnapping for ransom in that country.”
CSW, he said, has urged the Libyan and Egyptian authorities “to intervene swiftly to secure the release of these six men and all those held with them.”
Thomas stressed it was crucial that the “kidnappers must be held to account.”
He said CSW wants “the international community to press those in power in Libya to crack down on extremist and criminal groups.” It was time, he said, to “address the appalling discriminatory targeting and extortion of religious minorities and refugees.”
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