02/23/2015, 00.00
EGYPT-LIBYA
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Escape from Libyan hell: Egyptian migrants tell of ordeal and Islamic State torture

by André Azzam
Over 10 thousand Egyptians have returned. Many of them, kidnapped by Muslim gangs, were forced to work without food and water. Several were marked on the scalp with an "S" out of contempt for al-Sisi, the Egyptian president. At least 45 of the returnees need medical and psychological care to help them deal with shock.

Cairo (AsiaNews)- More than ten thousand Egyptians have crossed the frontier at Al-Solloum point on the western Egyptian border these last days returning home from Libya, with an average of three thousand every day.

The corpse of six Egyptians who died with 41 other people in the explosions that happened in Al-Qubba town have been also repatriated through the Al-Solloum crossing.

Last night, two hundred Egyptians arrived at Cairo International airport who had been held hostage by the ''Dawn of Libya'' and ''Al-Shari'a Allied" groups arrived at Cairo International airport while seven fishermen, out of the twenty one held captive on their own boat in Libya have been also liberated and flown to Cairo.

Among the arrivals, 'Ädel Sâber, 20 years old, obviously emaciated and haggard, stated that he was held hostage for three months, then liberated with the other ones who were hostages for periods between one and three months, and left at a distance of about seventy kilometers from Tunisian border. They spent three days starving of hunger.

"The most awful three months in my whole life" related 'Ädel who explained that he was assailed in his flat in Syrta where everything was stolen and he was placed in different jails where all Egyptians were submitted to different sort of tortures, forced to strip, were beaten, humiliated and constantly insulted".

When arriving in Tunisia, the whole group was taken care of by Tunisian authorities and flown by Egyptian aircraft  from Abou Gdir airport to Cairo. All of them were had their passports and identity papers taken from them as well as everything they had, money, cell phones".

During the three months, they were forced to work in cleaning and construction and in general deprived of food and water.  Registration formalities in Cairo Airport took some time, to register the names of all these people without any identity papers.

Mohammad 'Abdal-Sabour, 30 years old, explained that he was in Misrata and had been arrested a month and a half ago. He uncovered his head to show the letter "S" savagely stamped on his neck as happened to many others hostages. "Dawn Libya" members told them that this was their way to send their concrete greetings to Al-Sissi.

Another migrant, Mohammad  'Abdal-'Azîm explained that after being arrested he was forced to work in a huge weapon and ammunition dump. 'I was ordered to tell everybody in Egypt that they are very well stocked in armaments and rockets. They wanted us to force us to fight with them, After the Egyptian strikes against Islamic State (IS) bases, they become more ferocious".

On their return, they were all forced by "Dawn Libya'' and "Shari'a Allies" to sign a document asserting they have been well treated.

Tens of other Egyptians at the airport were explaining how they decided to flee from the Libyan inferno after seeing the twenty one Egyptian martyrs savagely beheaded by IS, but they were stopped by IS militias and all their possessions, luggage and papers as well as money, computers, cell phones, etc. were taken from them.

Many of them had to go through fifteen traps lured by different gangs who all racketed them. Among the two hundred Egyptians who returned at least 45 needed treatment for the psychological trauma of what they were subjected to during their captivity.

Everybody in Egypt is expecting thousands of returns from Libya and are deeply concerned about the fate of those Egyptians still in the neighboring nation.

 

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