The families of Egyptian workers reportedly kidnapped in Libya staged a protest on Saturday at the Cairo headquarters of the Egyptian press syndicate, demanding that the president interfere to bring their relatives home.
Fifteen migrant workers from Egypt were reportedly kidnapped and tortured in Libya earlier this month.
According to the captives’ families, the kidnappers have demanded a ransom of 300,000 Libyan dinars (around EGP 4 million), threatening to kill the captives if it is not delivered.
“We need President [Abdel-Fattah] El-Sisi to interfere; he is our president, who else should we go to? And what else should we do? I submitted complaints everywhere, but nothing happened,” Mohamed Rabie El-Sherbiny from Damietta governorate, whose father is among the 15 kidnapped, told Ahram Online.
“We arrived early this morning at the syndicate; security forces promised us they would call the presidency, but later they said that there was no response. So, we stood silently raising signs but got beaten by them, to end the protest,” he said.
El-Sherbiny’s father, 62-year-old Mohamed Gad Hamed, ran a painting workshop in Libya, which he’d operated since the 90’s, followed by his son and some of the family’s cousins.
“Libya is like a second home to me; we went there to earn our living, and to be able to feed our children, escaping the hardship in Egypt,” Hamed’s son said.
El-Sherbiny said he has received threats, and torture photos, showing the reportedly abducted Egyptians handcuffed with signs of torture on their backs.
“I could not produce the ransom, and I do not know what to do now, but we do not deserve this, and we will not accept this ignorance and insult,” the son concluded.
Last week, a brother of one of the kidnapped Egyptians, Hamada Salah, told Ahram Online he had received a message from the kidnapper telling him his brother had been killed. Salah has not been able to confirm the information.
A screenshot of the message Salah received went viral on Facebook, along with photos of the captives’ torture.
Ahram Online could not independently verify the authenticity of the photos circulating on social media of the reportedly kidnapped Egyptians.
The Egyptian foreign ministry has not released any statements on the issue.
The ministry was not available for comment on Saturday.
In 2015, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs began urging citizens to avoid travel to Libya due to unstable security conditions following the killing of 20 Egyptian migrant workers near Derna by the Islamic State militant group.
The warning was renewed in 2016 and is still in effect.
Despite the government’s warning and Libya’s difficult economic conditions, Egyptian workers continue to migrate to the country.
Source: Ahram Online