AFRICA/EGYPT - Families of the "Martyrs of Libya" ask the government for confirmation regarding the announced discovery of the bodies of their relatives

Friday, 6 October 2017


Minya (Agenzia Fides) – The families of the 21 Copts beheaded in Libya in 2015 by jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh) have addressed the Egyptian Foreign Ministry an urgent request to confirm the discovery of the deadly remains of their family members, announced last September 28, by the Libyan General Prosecutor Al Sadiq al Sour (see Fides 29/9/2017). In the message, re-launched by local media, family members of the victims of the massacre express fears that someone can play with the most intimate feelings of people with the intent of launching announcements and to attract media attention, mortifying the wishes of the victims' families to bury and honor their loved ones in a proper manner.
On September 28, Libyan Prosecutor Al Sadiq, during a press conference, had announced the discovery of the place where the dead remains of the 21 coptic Christians beheaded by the jihadists in February 2015 were buried. From that point on – says the appeal addressed to the family members of the martyrs to the government - "Everyone began to pray, asking that the bodies of the martyrs may soon return to Egypt, their Church". But since then, the Libyan and Egyptian authorities have not provided any indication of the announced discovery. Contradictory suppositions have begun to circulate in the media of the two Countries, including news that in fact denied the announcement given by the Libyan Prosecutor during a press conference. The martyrs' family members, in their appeal, express the suspicion of seeing their deepest feelings offended by dark and ruthless political games.
In February 2015 the massacre of the 21 Egyptian Copts was claimed by jihadists with the release of a macabre video that showed the stages of collective decapitation. Just a week after their brutal act, Orthodox Catholic Patriarch Tawadros II decided to register the 21 martyrs in the Synaxarium, the book of martyrs of the Coptic Church, establishing that their memory was to be celebrated on February 15. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 6/10/2017)