On Thursday, Egyptian MP, Mostafa Bakry filed a briefing request with Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry after six Egyptian Christians were kidnapped in Libya, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.
The Egyptian lawmaker asked about the measures taken by the ministry to secure the release of the six workers, who are being held for ransom in Libya for over a week.
In a statement on Thursday, Bakry called for an urgent meeting with Shoukry and the Foreign Relations Committee. This is to discuss the measures being taken to secure the release of the abductees, who he said had entered Libya legally with work visas.
“The workers were abducted while travelling to Sabratha in search of job opportunities,” Bakry tweeted. They are from Al-Harja Qibli village in Al-Balina town, Sohag, Upper Egypt, according to Bakry.
The MP has called for the Foreign Ministry to take action: “What has the Egyptian Foreign Ministry done to release the Egyptian citizens?”
Egyptian Coptic channel, MESat played a recording of a telephone call on Monday between one of the hostages and his family. He said that the kidnappers were asking for 15,000 Libyan dinars per person, a total of 90,000 Libyan dinars (about $18,702 US dollars).
During the phone call, the hostage said he and the other victims were each being fed a single loaf of bread a day, adding that the kidnappers have been holding a large number of other hostages for months.
Washington-based international human-rights group, Coptic Solidarity, which is concerned with the rights of Copts in Egypt, said the families of the hostages were appealing to the Egyptian government to “take the threats seriously and provide urgent help.”
The families have said “they are ready to sell their village homes to obtain the ransom money,” Coptic Solidarity reported.
Numerous Egyptian workers have been abducted in different parts of Libya over the past decade, amid the turbulent political and security situation, but have been repatriated by the Egyptian authorities.
Many on social media have voiced concerns over this latest kidnapping, especially since it comes almost exactly eight years after IS beheaded 20 Egyptian and Ghanian Christians in Sirte in February 2015.