Amman urges Libya to secure release of abducted Jordanians

The Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the nationals must return to Jordan. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 July 2019
0

Amman urges Libya to secure release of abducted Jordanians

  • The three Jordanians were abducted in August of last year
  • Libyan foreign minister said he is personally following the matter
AMMAN: Jordan called Tuesday on Libya’s internationally recognized government to facilitate the release of three Jordanian nationals abducted by a militia last year.
Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi spoke with his Libyan counterpart Mohammed Tahir Syala about the “case of three Jordanians abducted in Libya since August last year,” the Jordanian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The Libyan authorities must immediately work to release (them) and return them to the kingdom,” Safadi said.
Syala said he was “personally following the matter” on the recommendation of the chief of Libya’s Government of National Accord, Fayez Al-Sarraj, according to the Jordanian statement.
The group’s release was delayed because they were detained by one militia and then handed to another, he said, but Libyan authorities had recently located them and “handed their case over to the attorney general to end the investigation and release them.”
Officials in Libya have not commented publicly on the matter.
Jordan has contacted Libya multiple times about the detainees through official channels, the statement said.
A source at the Jordanian foreign ministry said they were in Libya on “private business.”
Libya was plunged into a bloody power struggle between multiple militias following a NATO-backed uprising that led to dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011.
Abductions are commonplace and foreign workers are often kidnapped by armed groups and held for ransom.
Jordan in September 2014 called on its citizens not to travel to Libya due to security risks.


Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

Egyptian Christians stand outside St. Markos Church in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt, in this Jan. 6, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 23 July 2019
0

Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

  • Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students

CAIRO: The Egyptian Orthodox Church has issued a statement condemning the theft of the body of the Patriarch Gerges, son of priest Ibrahim Al-Basit, from his family’s burial place in the Minya governorate.
Last Saturday, the cemetery was opened and Al-Basit’s body was stolen. The crime of stealing the bodies of the dead has recently spread across Egypt, especially while the sanctity of the body remains preserved. It is also common for the remains to be collected two years after the burial.
Last October, a gang was arrested after stealing bodies from their graves. An investigation has revealed that the main defendant sold the bodies to medical students for practical learning.
Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students.
The investigation found that the defendant had put a price on various limbs. The leg and the arm were priced at 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($180), the skull cost 5,000 pounds and the whole body was worth 20,000 pounds.
Ashraf Farahat, a legal expert and lawyer, said that Egyptian law demands up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of 100-500 pounds for criminals who violate the sanctity of graves.
Yasser Sayed Ahmed, a legal expert and lawyer, said he knew of many cases where cemetery guards and assistants help people access graves for superstitious reasons in exchange for large sums of money.
The majority of these cases are happening with the help of the guards of the tombs. They exhume graves at night to extract the bodies and separate the organs to sell bones and skulls. They often sell them to drug dealers by grinding and mixing some materials for sale at high prices.