Saturday, 30/5/2020 | 8:51 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Tunisian Diplomat Still Captive in Libya

Nearly two months after terrorists abducted a Tunisian diplomat in Tripoli, his family is no closer to learning his fate.

“All we hear is that he is in good health – assurances here and there without results,” the father and sister of Mohamed Bechikh said in an exclusive interview with Magharebia.

The actions of an obscure armed group in the Libyan capital stretch to Tunis, where a family now lives in fear and hopes for a miracle.

“Thank God he is still alive but we are tired of promises,” Bechikh’s sister Samira says. “They are telling us every day that he will be released soon. Yet we will not feel assured until after his safe return to his country and family.”

“We expect anything from the kidnappers. Bloodletting is easy for them if their demands are not met,” she adds. “What concerns us now is the safety and health of my brother.”

Bechikh, a father of three and an aide to the Tunisian ambassador, was grabbed by armed assailants on March 21st in the Ain Zara suburb of eastern Tripoli. One month later, previously unknown group Chabab al-Tawhid claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and released a video of the sobbing hostage pleading for his life.

The group demanded freedom for Libyan terrorists sentenced for their role in a 2011 terrorist operation.

“As you imprison ours, we imprison yours. As you kill ours, we kill yours,” the terrorists threatened.

Since the abduction of Bechikh, the life of his family has been dominated by sadness and anxiety.

“He did not hurt anyone and was committed at work,” his father Hammadi Bechikh says. “He did not hesitate for a moment in the service of his country, even in the most difficult security conditions in Libya, in order to support his family,” he adds. “I hope that the kidnappers take that into account.”

“He is the father of three children and we do not want to see them deprived of the kindness and tenderness of their father,” he pleads.

Meanwhile, the governments of Tunisia and Libya continue negotiations, in order to reach a solution that will lead to the release of the kidnapped diplomats.

Tunisian Ambassador to Libya Ridha Boukadi on Monday (May 5th) confirmed that Tunisia was making a great effort with all parties.

But as Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said last month, kidnappings for ransom are a “new type of terrorism that Tunisia doesn’t have experience dealing with”.

Source : Magharebia