By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 14 March 2014:
Egyptian workers reportedly kidnapped in Tripoli were detained by the authorities for checks document and . . .[restrict]health checks, the Libyan ambassador to Egypt, Fayez Jibril, has said.
Initial reports in the Egyptian press said that 70 Egyptians had been kidnapped by armed groups in a number of districts of the capital. Jibril, however, put the number at 46 and said they were being detained by the Libyan authorities while their visas and work permits were checked. They were also undergoing routine health checks.
He gave assurances that the Egyptians would be treated well and have their human rights respected whilst the checks were being carried out. Jibril said that the process was not solely targeting Egyptians, with all non-national workers subject to such random checks.
Libya has a large number of migrant workers, some of whom work without the correct papers and who are sometimes in possession of fake health certificates. A number of departments for illegal immigration routinely arrest groups of foreign workers and take them to temporary holding centres while checks are carried out. Depending on the results of these, once checks are complete, the immigrants are either released or taken to prisons pending deportation.
According to Libyan news agency LANA, on this occasion these procedures have been slightly delayed because today, Friday, is a holiday. [/restrict]