Six Christians are believed to have been abducted by a criminal gang in Egypt.
The men were stopped at an illegal checkpoint on their way to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, where they were intending to work.
After being transported to an unknown location, one victim, Abdu Jada Sadrak, was able to call a family member over the phone. He confirmed that they were being held in a “very small room,” described by Adbu as a “living hell”.
He told his cousin, Hani Sadrak, that they were amongst other hostages of other nationalities and were beaten daily and starved.
According to local journalists, the kidnappers are asking for approximately £2,600 in exchange for each of the hostages.
A report from journalist Nader Shukry suggests families would have to sell their homes in order to accumulate the funds.
The victims’ loved ones are appealing for help from the Egyptian government and are hoping international agencies may be able to apply pressure to politicians within the country.
President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Mervyn Thomas, said: “CSW condemns this latest brutality committed against Egyptian Christians in Libya.
“The fact that these men were abducted so soon upon arrival and are being held with many other foreign nationals highlights the prevalence of kidnapping for ransom in that country.
“We urge the Libyan and Egyptian authorities to intervene swiftly to secure the release of these six men and all those held with them.
“Their kidnappers must be held to account, and we call upon the international community to press those who are in power in Libya to crack down on extremist and criminal groups and address the appalling discriminatory targeting and extortion of religious minorities and refugees.’