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Protests in Eastern Libya against Abduction of Egyptians

Protests in Eastern Libya against Abduction of Egyptians

Sunday, 24 January, 2021 - 08:30
Illegal migrants arrive by boat at a naval base after they were rescued by the Libyan coastguard in the coastal city of Tripoli, Libya, May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Libyan citizens and civil society in Tobruk have decried the abduction, torture, and murder of Egyptian migrants by smugglers.

They called on Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani and Interior Minister of the eastern government Ibrahim Boushnaf to act against these “criminal acts.”

Recently, videos showing undocumented Egyptian migrants being tortured in Tobruk have gone viral. Their kidnappers have demanded ransom from their families in return for their release.

However, some of them succumbed to their wounds in hospitals.

The protesters described the acts as “inhumane”, saying they don’t represent the values and morals of Libyans.

In a statement, the protesters demanded the immediate intervention of Libyan National Army Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Abdel Razek Al-Nadouri and the Libyan Coast Guard to halt these “crimes that are undermining the safety of citizens.”

They underscored the importance of “holding the smugglers accountable and foiling their plan to destabilize Libyan-Egyptian ties.”

Further, they encouraged the government, Egyptian army, and Border Guards to raid the strongholds of the smugglers.

In a related context, the spokesman for the Libyan Navy chief said that 81 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast.

Libya has become a key route for irregular migration to Europe.

While many have drowned at sea, thousands have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguard.

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