• 16:36
  • Tuesday ,20 January 2015

Families of kidnapped Egyptians in Libya protest in Cairo

By Aswat Masriya

Home News


Tuesday ,20 January 2015

Families of kidnapped Egyptians in Libya protest in Cairo

Family members of 20 Egyptians kidnapped in Libya held a protest outside the United Nations office in Cairo on Monday, calling for the involvement of the international community. 

In late December, 2014 and early January a total of 20 Egyptians were kidnapped in two incidents in the Libyan city of Sirte, all of whom are Coptic Christians.  

The Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Khawla Matar said she met with representatives of the family members and received a memo from them, in which they called for international community involvement to end assaults against Copts in Libya.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty said that the family members of the kidnapped also met with officials from the Foreign Ministry who provided them with updates on the state's efforts to secure the release of those kidnapped.

A Coptic family consisting of a doctor, his wife and their teenage daughter were killed in Sirte in December.       

The protesting family members also raised signs calling on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to become involved in the matter. On January 5, Sisi ordered the formation of a "crisis cell", tasked with securing the release of the kidnapped Egyptian nationals.

Officials from the foreign ministry also met with representatives from the Libyan tribe of Soliman, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The ministry said this is part of a series of meetings Egypt is holding with various Libyan parties to address the political and security developments in Libya, including the conditions of the Egyptian expat community.

Militant fighting in Libya has recently intensified in measures unprecedented since the overthrow of late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.      

In the midst of the ongoing turmoil in Libya, Egyptians have often been the target of deadly attacks and kidnappings. The increasingly risky conditions in the neighbouring country have prompted the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs to repeatedly issue warnings to all Egyptians residing in Libya, calling on them to avoid any conflict areas.