17 Coptic Christians go missing in Libya
At least 17 Egyptian Coptic Christians have gone missing in Libya, and it's feared an armed group might have abducted them in the north African country where 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded by ISIS in 2015.
The Coptic Christians, who were living in an Egyptian neighborhood in Tripoli, have either been detained by the authorities or taken by an armed group due to their Christian faith, friends and family believe, according to the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern, which says that they have been missing since the 30th of September.
The Copts had work visas for labor work in Libya, “but they failed to get work opportunities and the costs of renewing the visas are high and it’s likely that “the police of Libya detained them from September 30 until now,” a lawyer and friend of one the missing Copts was quoted as saying.
“The Copts were staying in the Gargash District in Tripoli,” he added. “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.”
ISIS had kidnapped the Copts in separate incidents in Libya throughout December 2014 and January 2015. The terrorist group then released the video of their execution in February 2015, showing the Christian men in orange jumpsuits kneeling on the sand as the terrorists stood behind them, ready to carry out the executions at a beach near Tripoli.