AFRICA/EGYPT - Four Copts (including a child) kidnapped in the province of Assiut

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Assiut (Agenzia Fides) - Four Coptic Christians, one of whom is also a 9-year-old boy, were kidnapped on October 3 in the city of Manfalut, in the province of Assiut, 350 km south of Cairo. The kidnappers initially demanded a ransom for 500 thousand Egyptian pounds, equivalent to more than 50 thousand euro. As reported by Watani network, family members of the abducted have received from the police the advice to pay the ransom if they want to avoid their relatives from being killed by the kidnappers. This is what is recommended by the police in such cases, since on some occasions the kidnapped were killed because the sums requested were not paid immediately.
The kidnapping took place while two of the four kidnapped, brothers Emad and Rami Lamei, who work in the field of building construction, had been summoned to a meeting in Manfalut, with the promise of receiving a job offer. Once they arrived in the city, a relative offered to accompany them along with the little son, aged nine, to the meeting place, where the kidnappers were waiting for them.
The plague of kidnappings perpetrated against members of the Coptic community continues to claim victims throughout Egypt, with a concentration in Upper Egypt, particularly in the regions of Minya and Assiut, where in the past in some villages on the banks of the Nile, Christians were sometimes forced to pay in "advance" sums of money under the threat of being subjected to violent retaliation. In the Governorate of Minya alone, the overall amount paid in cash to pay the ransom of Christians kidnapped from January 2011 to the end of 2014 has already exceeded the figure of 120 million Egyptian pounds. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 05/10/2016)