Relatives of 26 Egyptians that are “missing” in Libya met with Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty Saturday to discuss ways to find whereabouts of their relatives.
Abdelatty met with the relatives who were accompanied by rights lawyer Naguib Gobraiel as they informed the ministry that communication with their relatives stopped since September 2014 after they travelled to Libya trying to illegally migrate to Italy, according to a statement from the ministry.
Gobraiel told Daily News Egypt that the number of Egyptians missing is 46 but only relatives of the 26 attended the meeting.
“They travelled in August 2014 trying to reach Italy and on 6 September communications with them stopped,” Gobraiel said.
He explained that there were two possibilities about their whereabouts; one that they are detained by the Italian authorities and the other that they are detained in the Libyan city of Sirte.
The head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights said that the first possibility was dismissed after the foreign ministry made sure through the Egyptian ambassador in Rome that the missing Egyptians are not detained Italy.
All the 46 are workers from the town of Abnoub in Assiut, and Gobraiel fears their situation could be similar to the 20 Coptic Egyptians who were beheaded by militants of the “Islamic State” in Libya group in February.