Foreign Ministry: 20 Egyptian Copts held in Libya released

Libya released 20 Egyptian Copts who were being held in the country on charges of proselytizing, said Ali al-Esheiry, foreign deputy minister for consular affairs, attributing their release to the Egyptian Consulate in Benghazi’s efforts.

Esheiry said the mission is still working toward the release of 23 other people as part of the consulate’s efforts, which started when Libyan authorities summoned a church pastor to testify in a case before arresting several Egyptians.

Esheiry said efforts by the foreign minister and Egyptian mission in Libya to secure the release of all arrested are ongoing.

Libyan authorities had arrested about 50 Egyptian Copts in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi over charges of proselytizing and illegally entering the country.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church had called on the Foreign Ministry to intervene.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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