Authorities Tell Families to Soon Expect Remains of the 20 Martyrs of Libya

ICC Note: The family members of the 20 Egyptian Copts martyred by ISIS in 2015 have been summoned by the authorities who informed them to expect the arrival of the bodies soon. The bodies were located by Libyan authorities in September 2017, and the families have waited in eager expectation for their arrival home. They had hoped that the bodies would be laid to rest by the three-year anniversary of their deaths, which was this past February.

03/09/2018 Egypt (Wataninet) – The bodies of 20 Copts beheaded by Daesh in Sirte, Libya, in February 2015 are finally expected home shortly.

This morning, Samalout prosecution summoned family members of the Coptic martyrs to inform them of the expected arrival of the bodies, and to ask that they prepare to receive them and sign the official reports to that effect.

The 20 Copts had been beheaded, together with and one Ghanaian, for their Christian faith by Daesh in Sirte, Libya, in 2015. It is not known exactly when the beheading took place, but gruesome video footage of the incident was released by Daesh on 15 February 2015. The video sent shock waves through Egypt and the whole world; the Egyptian Air Force retaliated with airstrikes against Daesh targets in Libya.

In September 2017, Libyan authorities announced they were able to locate the bodies of the beheaded Copts, and dug them out.

Directly after the beheading was made public and the Egyptian Force struck Daesh targets in Libya, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered that a church should be built in the Minya village of al-Our in honour of the martyrs. Minya lies some 250km south of Cairo; al-Our was chosen because it was home to 13 out of the 20 Copts who were beheaded by Daesh. At start there were skirmishes by the village fundamentalists who refused to have a church in their midst, but it was finally decided to build the church on the outskirts of the village. This, however, allowed for a wider area and, once agreement was reached, the Armed Forces directly started on the project.

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