By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 21 July 2014:
A Filipino construction worker has been found decapitated in Benghazi six days after . . .[restrict]he was kidnapped in the city’s Gwarsha district.
The Filipino Embassy has now ordered a nationwide, mandatory evacuation of its citizens over the deteriorating security situation, Filipino community leader Dora Bathai told the Libya Herald. She said Fillipino nationals in Benghazi had been left stunned by the gruesome attack which she described as “inhuman”.
She said the man, a construction worker, had been kidnapped by masked gunmen while driving to work. She explained he had been targeted because his assailants believed him to be Christian. His mutilated body was found yesterday.
Bathai said the killing was the most recent in a string of aggressive and intimidating acts perpetrated against Fillipino workers who, she said, were threatened on a daily basis. She explained that the foreign workers, most of whom work in the city’s hospitals, were followed and often robbed when they left their homes. “Everyday there is crime and harassment. Everyday there is a hold-up,” she said.
Bathai described one recent incident where armed men had forced entry into nurses’ accommodation, stealing their belongings. She said she herself was regularly hassled at her own place of work at Benghazi Medical Centre.
Bathai said the treatment was appalling when it was considered that the Filipino workers made up the majority of Benghazi’s medical staff and most have not been paid for as much as five months. “We have sacrificed so much,” she said, “even before the revolution”.
“They should condemn these people who target the foreigners,” she said. “We are not rich, many of us make less than the Libyans. We are tired, we are exhausted and then we are targeted by criminals,” she added.
The Spanish news agency EFE reported that the Manila government has raised its alert level “in response to the extremely unstable political and security situations.”
The country’s Department of Foreign Affairs has told all 13,000 Filipinos in the Libya to contact its embassy in Tripoli for assistance and instructions for evacuation.