Human Rights Group Welcomes Release of Egyptian Christians, Confirm Ransom Paid

Credit: CSW

The UK-based human rights foundation, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), has welcomed the release of six Egyptian Christians who were abducted and detained in Libya earlier this month. 

On February 17, the foreign ministry of Egypt reported the release of the six men who had been illegally detained on February 6 in Libya where they had gone for work.  

“CSW welcomes the release of these six men,” the entity’s Founder President, Thomas Mervyn, says in a Tuesday, February 21 report that also confirms that “the men were released on 18 February after a ransom of USD $ 15,000 was paid for each of the them”.

However, Mr. Thomas says that Libyan authorities “have failed to contain the dangerous extremist and criminal groups operating in the country.”

Failure to contain the extremist gangs in Libya “means that abductions for ransom will persist”, he says.


“While recognizing 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,” the CSW official says. 

He also calls on the international community “to offer greater assistance to the Libyan government to tackle criminality and insecurity.”

The UK-based human rights foundation had denounced the abduction and detention of the Egyptians, which they termed as the “latest brutality committed against Egyptian Christians in Libya.”

In a February 15 statement, Mr. Thomas said the fact that the men were abducted after leaving the airport in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, shows “the prevalence of kidnapping for ransom in that country.”

The release of the men came days after the eighth anniversary of the killing of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in Libya.

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The 15 February 2015 murders prompted Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to launch air strikes against ISIS in Eastern Libya, and declare the victims “national martyrs”. The Coptic Orthodox Church also designated February 15 as Contemporary Martyrs Day.

The Libyan Air Force said that at least 50 ISIS fighters were killed in the airstrikes, which were carried out by Egypt and Libya.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.