By Sami Zaptia.
London, 11 October 2020:
Seven Indian workers were kidnapped on 14 September on their way to Tripoli airport from Shwerif, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) revealed Thursday. Shwerif is located 417 km south of Tripoli on the main road to the south and about half way to Sebha.
In its statement the Indian MEA said, “Seven Indian nationals, hailing from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, were kidnapped at a place called Asshwerif in Libya on 14 September. They were working at a construction and oil field supplies company and were kidnapped on their way to the Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India.”
It added that “the employer has been contacted by the kidnappers and shown photographs as proof that the Indian nationals were safe and keeping well. The government is in touch with their family members and would like to assure them that we are making all possible efforts, in consultation and coordination with Libyan authorities and the employer, to trace our nationals and secure their release from captivity at the earliest.”
“Our Embassy in Tunisia, which handles matters relating to the welfare of Indian nationals in Libya, has reached out to the Libyan government authorities concerned, as also the international organisations present there, to seek their help in rescuing the Indian nationals.”
The Indian MEA reminded that “In September 2015, an advisory had been issued by the Government of India for Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of the security situation there. Later, in May 2016, the Government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the much-deteriorated security situation. This travel ban is still in force.”