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Five Nepali men held captive in Libya, families seek help for their safe release

- SAMUEL CHHETRI, Kathmandu

Jan 17, 2019-

Family members of five Nepali youths, who have been held captive in Misrata district of Libya, have urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate their rescue and repatriation.

The families knew the whereabouts of their kin after they received a one-minute long video in which they say their captors have been threatening them to kill by putting a gun. They said they were held up by a gang of local goons.  

According to a family member of one of the captives, Jit Kaji Gurung of Pokhara-19 in Kaski district  and Santosh Parajuli of Kathmandu siphoned Rs5.1 million from the victims and took the captive individuals to Libya through Dubai promising jobs in Italy.

As of late, Libya has become one of the major transit points for human traffickers to send aspiring migrant workers to Europe and the United States of America.

“We are being held in an empty room with no facilities along with 14 Pakistanis. They (captors) sometime feed us rice and lentil and all of us have to eat from a single small utensil,” said the captives in the video, “We don’t know who the captors are, they physically assault us at times and threaten to kill us.”

Meanwhile, Nepali Embassy in Egypt, which also oversees affairs in Libya, informed that they are working with Egypt-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Libyan Embassy to rescue the captives.

Spokesperson at Nepali Embassy in Egypt, Sujan Bidari informed that they were able to establish contact with the Nepali youths through messenger on Friday. “We are trying to figure out the place (in Libya) where they are being held captive,” said Bidari, “IOM has deployed a team at Misrata to locate the captive individuals.”

The Libyan embassy has sought the details and phone number of the agent or Nepali nationals who are being held captive, said Bidari, adding “We have not been able to establish a direct contact with them.”

The Embassy, a few days ago, had rescued two Nepalis—Dinesh Adhikari of Chitwan and Man Bahadur Gurung of Gorkha—who were arrested by Libyan police when they were head for Europe. The local police had arrested the duo after finding that their stay in Libya was illegal.

Published: 17-01-2019 14:07

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