Ethio Tribune

Plural News and Analysis on Ethiopia and HOA

  • RSS google news

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Capital

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Unknown Feed

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Unknown Feed

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Walta

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS DireTube Video

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts

    Join 481 other followers

  • Meta

  • Articles

  •  ምስለ መለስ፡ የማንነቱ ገፅታ

    ምስለ መለስ፡ የማንነቱ ገፅታ

  • Live streaming

  • ETV live streaming
  • RSS Sudan Tribune

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS East Africa News

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS BBC News

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Aljazeera

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Climate Change News

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Technology News

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • Archives

  • Flickr Photos: Ethiopia

10,000 Eritreans kidnapped for ransom in Egypt (BBC)

Posted by Ethio Tribune on November 26, 2012

10,000 Eritreans kidnapped for ransom in Egypt (BBC)

An Eritrean man who says he will be killed by an Egyptian trafficking gang in Sinai unless a $25,000 ransom is paid within days has spoken to the Today programme’s Mike Thomson.

Mike was given a mobile number to reach 22-year-old Philemon Semere by an Eritrean pastor who knows his family and has been in direct contact with the kidnappers himself. Pastor Mulugeta Mengsteab had earlier contacted the captive Philemon and checked that he was happy to do the interview.

Philemon began by telling Mike, who made it clear that he was calling from the BBC, that he had been held for four months and been treated very brutally.

“I have not enough food, I have not enough water,” he explained. “I’ve been hit by sticks and burnt by fire with electricity. Daily, burnt by fire and hit by sticks. My body is burning.”

Throughout the interview background noises were very audible and it seemed clear that the phone conversation was being conducted on a speaker phone.

The BBC's Mike Thomson

Mike Thomson spoke to the man via mobile phone

Half way through the conversation a man, who said he was in charge of those holding Philemon, butted into the conversation and confirmed that the family will have to pay $25,000 if they want to see him alive again, adding “if he don’t give any money I must kill Philemon here.”

Over the last few years an estimated 10,000, mainly Eritrean, refugees have been kidnapped by people traffickers, largely based in Egypt’s Sinai region. Most disappear on the way to seek a better life in Israel.

During what is often months of captivity the captives are beaten and tortured and their families asked to pay ransoms as high as $40,000 for their release. Those who don’t pay are killed. As many as 2,000 are thought to have died in this way.

Since carrying out the interview with Philemon the BBC has contacted the Egyptian authorities and alerted them to his situation. We have also spoken to charities who have taken up his case including Christian Solidarity Worldwide who first drew attention to his story. The BBC have also spoken to a member of Philemone’s family who have said they are willing for his case to be publicised and for the interview with him to be broadcast.

It is impossible, from so far away, to verify Philemon’s case. But Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and other non-governmental organisations who have studied the kidnap trade, say it bears all the hallmarks of what is now an awful but thriving business in the Sinai region.

Convinced that his family does not have the money to meet the kidnapper’s demands, Philemon is clearly becoming desperate as their deadline nears: “Please help. Please help me Mike. I haven’t enough money, they will kill me. Please help me.”

 

2 Responses to “10,000 Eritreans kidnapped for ransom in Egypt (BBC)”

  1. Tes said

    Many high level Eritrean Military officers are working in Tandem with the Rashida and Sinai Beduin human traffickers to sell their own brothers and sisters. They should be held accountable and brought to the UN court to face justice. May God strike these evil people and agents of the Devil.

  2. shibtam said

    Dear Editor this New is not publiced in Ethiopa .we can not open the document .I think may be Hijacked by Eritrean regime Hackers .Sorry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s