Tunisian hostage in Libya appeals for release in video
A Libyan extremist group has released a video showing a Tunisian embassy employee recently abducted in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
In the video posted on social networking sites on Monday, Mohamed ben Sheikh asked Tunisian authorities to negotiate with the kidnappers to secure his freedom.
“Mr. President, why do you want to deprive me of life?... There are no negotiations, they will not release me,” he says.
“Mr. President, negotiate with them. I want to return to Tunisia. They can kill me at any time.”
Sheikh is one of the two Tunisian officials recently kidnapped from the Tunisian Embassy in Tripoli by a largely unknown group calling themselves Shabab Al-Tawhid.
On April 17, Tunisian diplomat al-Aroussi Kontassi was abducted in Tripoli, a month after Sheikh had been taken hostage in the city.
The kidnappers are said to belong to the same group behind the killing of two army officers in the town of Rouhia, located in northwestern Tunisia, in May 2011.
The kidnapping of Kontassi comes days after Jordanian Ambassador to Libya Fawaz Aitan was kidnapped after his vehicle came under attack by gunmen in two civilian cars in central Tripoli.
Earlier this year, five Egyptian diplomats were also seized in Tripoli in an apparent retaliation for Egypt’s arrest of a Libyan militia chief. They were freed hours later and Egypt released the militia commander.
Libya has been the scene of violence since the overthrow of its former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.