The Ministry of Interior affiliated to the Government of National Accord (GNA) announced that it has arrested the perpetrators behind the mistreatment and abuse of Egyptian labourers in the Libyan city of Tarhuna.
In a Wednesday press statement the ministry said that all the labourers are found safe and sound and that they will testify about their detention and mistreatment against “all laws and norms.”
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has called for an immediate investigation into the in the Libyan city of Tarhuna.
The ministry stressed the historic relations between Egyptian and Libyan peoples, that would not be affected by “individual acts,” or political differences.
On Tuesday, the The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed “its concern about the arrest, detention, and mistreatment of a large number of Egyptian citizens in Tarhuna city, in what may constitute a violation of Libya’s obligations under international human rights law regarding the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
UNSMIL called for the authorities in Tripoli to reveal the fate and whereabouts of these Egyptian nationals, and ensure they are treated according to international standards.
UNSMIL’s statement came after a video circulated showing what appeared to be militas loyal to GNA abusing and mistreating several Egyptian nationals.
“These are innocent people and have nothing to do with the Libyan conflict,” Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) spokesperson Ahmed Al-Mismari said, adding that the labourers “paid the price of the support of the Egyptian stance in the Libyan crisis.”
Al-Mismari offered his apologies to Egypt’s people and leadership, saying, “These awful acts do not represent the morals of Libyan people but of the militias supported by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,”
The incident triggered outrage among Egyptian officials and MPs. Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal and Minister of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs Nabila Makram said on Sunday that Egypt will take a tough stance against the abuse of Egyptian labourers in Libya.
Makram said that the Egyptian state will never allow the assault or mistreatment of its labourers abroad.
Since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has undergone years of conflict. The oil-rich country has been split between two parties since 2014, the GNA in the west, and the House of Representative in the east supported by LAAF.