Six Egyptian Christians who were abducted in Libya in the week of 6 February were released on 18 February after their ransoms were paid.
The six men, all from the village of Alharja South in Suhag, were abducted at an illegal checkpoint and transported to an unknown location where they were held with many other captives of different nationalities. The men reportedly suffered harsher treatment once their captors learned that they were Christians, including beatings and denial of food. They were held in a small, crowded room with an exposed toilet.
The men were released on 18 February after a ransom of USD $15,000 was paid for each of them. The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry congratulated them upon their release.
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: ‘CSW welcomes the release of these six men. However we note that the failure of the Libyan authorities to contain the dangerous extremist and criminal groups operating in the country means that abductions for ransom will persist. While recognising that the situation in the country remains fragile and insecure, we nonetheless call on the Libyan authorities to do far more to discourage abductions and secure the release of all who are still in captivity, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or belief. We also urge the international community to offer greater assistance to the Libyan government to tackle criminality and insecurity.’
Note to Editors:
- The ransom amount was initially reported as 15,000 Libyan Dinars.