10/22/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that since September 30, 2021, at least 17 Egyptian Coptic Christians have gone missing in Libya. They were living in an Egyptian neighborhood in Tripoli; it is unknown who took them and why. Some friends and family believe they were detained by the authorities, while others believe they were taken by an armed group. Regardless, they hold a common fear that these individuals were targeted because of their Christian faith and that they may face a deadly fate reminiscent of the 2015 beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by ISIS.
An Egyptian lawyer whose friend is missing shared, “Even now there [is] no confirmed news. (My friend) Emad Nasr and the other Copts traveled to Libya three months ago. They headed to the United Arab Emirates and then to Libya, because there are no direct airlines to Libya. The Copts had visas for Libya (labor visas), but they failed to get work opportunities and the costs of renewing the visas are high. So the police of Libya detained them from September 30 until now.”
“The Copts were staying in the Gargash District in Tripoli. In this residency, they were surrounded by so many persons of other countries like India and Bangladesh. So the action of detaining 17 Copts only is such a mysterious action! We are fearing of repeating an incident like the one who did by ISIS. We are contacting the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to intervene in the situation,” he continued.
The brother of one of the missing Copts said, “It is unknown if they were detained by the Libyan authorities or were kidnapped by unknown parties… they lived in the Gargash neighborhood, in which dozens of Egyptians live. We learned from one of the residents there that a number of Egyptians were kidnapped in this neighborhood without knowing their fate.”
According to local press, the names of the missing are: Emad Nasr, Assem Abo Gobrial, George Nasser Riad, Maris Malak Matias, Wael Samir Shawky, Hani Zaki Shaker Allah, Haitham Nazeer Malak, Gerges Nazi Malak, Thabet Gad Hanna, Bakhit Malak Matias, Adly Assad Ataya, Mikhaeil Nazir Malak, Roman Masoud Fahim, Karim Abu al-Ghait, Emad Nasri Qaldi, Daniel Saber Lamei, and Ezekiel Saber Lamei.
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Source: International Christian Concern