Remains of beheaded Copts to return to Egypt soon: Libya

CAIRO – 6 May 2018: Siddiq Assour, head of investigations at the Libyan Attorney General's Office, said that he ordered that the remains of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) in Libya in 2015 to be transferred to Egypt. 

Assour said in March that the Libyan authorities coordinated with Egypt to send the bodies of the victims following DNA tests. Forensic samples were taken from the bodies of the beheaded victims and were sent to Egypt to be identified with their families. 

In a statement to Al-Watan published Saturday, Assour said that Libya received a report from Egypt’s General Prosecutor saying that the DNA tests were already done. 

Assour said that the bodies will be sent to Egypt after some procedures are carried out, adding that he does not think these procedures will take a long time. 

Concerning the defendants of the case, who were arrested in September 2017, Assour said that investigations were completed, and the defendants would appear before the court after Ramadan. 

On October 6, 2016, the Libyan general prosecutor officially confirmed that they found the bodies of the Egyptian Coptic Christians who were killed in a coastal area of Sirte. 

The victims’ families called on the Libyan judiciary to arrest the perpetrators of the massacre and execute them in a public square, as well as publish their photographs on social networking sites. 

In 2015, IS published a video dubbed “A message signed with blood to the nation of the cross,” where a number of masked IS members appeared beheading the unarmed victims. 

One of the perpetrators pointed during the video to the Quran verse: “And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively.” 

In an interview with Egypt Today, Azhar Sheikh Eraky Hamed said that Non-Muslims’ souls are sacred in Islam, as Prophet Muhammad warned, “whoever kills a Mu’ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance can be smelled at a distance of forty years (of traveling).” 

A disbeliever deserves to be fought only if he starts fighting Muslims. Otherwise, he still has the right of security and inviolability, Hamed added. 

Additional reporting by Amr Kandil 

The source from Egypt Today