A delegation sent to Libya by Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah, met with Coptic representatives, Libyan officials and imprisoned Egyptians in Libya on Wednesday.
Head of the Prosecutor General’s technical office Hassan Yassin is leading the Egyptian delegation and is accompanied by Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Maghreb Union and Libya Affairs Youssef El Sharkawy.
The delegation met with the pastor of the Egyptian church in Tripoli Timothawis Bishara Adly and Coptic representatives to discuss their issues and problems ahead of meetings with Libyan officials, according to a statement from the Prosecutor General’s office.
The delegation also visited Tajoura prison where they met imprisoned Egyptian Copts who are being held on charges of proselytising. The statement reported that the delegation’s meetings with Libyan officials found that the “investigations are being conducted in accordance with the correct legal and judicial standards.” The delegation also reported that the Libyan authorities are paying special attention to this case “because of its special status and sensitivity”.
Yassin and El Sharkawy also met with the prison administration to ensure the detained Copts are “treated well and cared for in accordance with standards that are compatible with the principles of human rights.” Yassin also emphasised that Abdallah is paying special attention to the case and is committed to ensuring the rights of the accused, including a fair trial.
The statement concluded by stating that the efforts of this delegation clearly shows “judicial cooperation between the two countries and also reflects the keenness of both countries to continue cooperation… in order to be a role model in the region.”
The Prosecutor General’s delegation is one of three that has travelled to Libya in the last week to address the issue of the treatment of Egyptian Copts in Libya. The visits by these delegations follow the death of Ezzat Atallah, an Egyptian national who died whilst being held by Libyan authorities for proselytising.
Atallah’s death and the arrest and alleged torture of dozens of Egyptians in Libya sparked protests in Cairo outside the Libyan embassy last week. Some activists believe that Libyan police tortured Atallah.
Gamal Heshmat, member of the Freedom and Justice Party and member of the Shura Council’s committee on Foreign Affairs and National Security said on Wednesday that the FJP “condemns crimes against Egyptians in Libya regardless of their faith. We are dealing with them as Egyptians, not only as Copts.”