Keralite Software Professional Among 3 Others Abducted in Libya

According to information received by the family, Reji Joseph has not been been physically harmed.

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He was working for a project of Civil Registration Authority when he was taken captive along with others in Libya. (Photo courtesy: Google Maps)

A 43-year-old Keralite software professional in Libya, taken captive along with three other colleagues in Tripoli, has not been been physically harmed, according to information received by the family.

Reji Joseph, who worked as an IT engineer in the Al Diwan software company for Technical Consultancies and IT Ltd had been abducted along with three other Libyan colleagues on 31 March.

He was working for a project of the Civil Registration Authority when he was taken captive along with others, Reji’s brother, Jojo Joseph said. The company’s owner, Khalid, informed Reji’s wife Shinju Thankachen on Wednesday, a nurse working in a hospital in Libya, that her husband and the others were not physically harmed.

The couple have 3 young daughters. The family today contacted the External Affairs Ministry seeking their help. Emails have also been sent to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, Jojo said.

While Shinju had not been getting her salary for over a year, Reji’s pay was also due for two months, his brother said.

Reji had gone to Libya in 2007 and returned in 2010, just as the civil war broke in that country. In 2013, Reji’s wife went back to Libya and he followed a year later with the children, the family said.

For a few days before his abduction, due to the unrest, Reji had been working from home. On 31 March, the owner sent his car with armed guards to fetch him.

Reji, after reaching the work site at Suk El Juma, had sent a message to his wife and brother in Kerala that he had safely reached his workplace. However, when he did not turn up back at home, his wife contacted the owner, who assured that her that he was at work.

The initial information the family received was that Reji had been abducted by an extremist group. There was no information after that, following which his wife contacted embassy officials and informed them about his plight.

The embassy officials got in touch with the owner who informed them that the Keralite and three others had been taken into custody by the Intelligence Bureau. The family is not yet clear on who has holding the employees captive and where, they said.

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