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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-05-25 13:01:38
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Bedouin Bandits in the Sinai Region of Egypt kidnap 400 Eritreans

A Moslem Sheik from the Sinai region of Egypt, Mohammed Al Awad, told Vatican Radio on Friday that bandits in the area are holding more than 400 Eritrean immigrants whom they kidnapped as they attempted to reach Israel. The kidnappers commonly known as Bedouin demand heavy ransom to release their victims. Sheik Al Awad said these Eritreans are escaping injustices, and harsh political and economic conditions from their country. When they are kidnapped, the bandits torture and compel them to ring their relatives in western Europe and North America asking for money for their release. He said, many times, when this money is paid, there is no guarantee that the victims will be released. The practice is that after the bandits have received the money, they sell the victims to other bandits, who in turn demand for ransom. Sheik Al Awad and his collaborators have since 2010 managed to secure the release of 500 Eritreans. He said many of the victims die of wounds sustained from torture and of hunger. It is estimated that 4000 Eritreans have been killed by the Bedouin in the Sinai region because they could not pay the ransom. The Sheik explained that what motivates him to help these immigrants is his love for mankind and his faith in God, Allah. Reports from the Sinai say he and his family have suffered several attacks, including the destruction of their property, by the bandits who are opposed to his humanitarian activities. He warned against generalisations, and stressed that the bandits are a small group of people in the Sinai region.


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