An Information Technology professional from Kerala who was kidnapped in Libya by unidentified men almost four months ago was freed on Wednesday, reported The Hindu. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced the release of Regi Joseph on Twitter.
“Indian Embassy in Libya has secured the release of Regi Joseph — an Indian national from Kerala. He was abducted in March this year. This has been possible with the efforts of Azar AH Khan, our Ambassador in Libya,” Swaraj tweeted.
Joseph, 45, is a native of Perambra. He has been living in Libya for the past two years with his wife Shinuja, who is a nurse in Tripoli hospital, and their three children – Jaina, Jhonia and Jania. An employee of Al Diwan Company in Tripoli, Joseph was working for the national citizen database project of the Civil Registry Authority. He had gone missing from outside his workplace at Souk al Jumaa, near the Libyan capital, on March 31.
Joseph told The Hindu that he had been kidnapped by one of the militias working for the competing governments of Libya. “Initially, they charged me with the case of a missing programmer, and then they put the blame on me for hacking the system and later damaging the computer network. After three months of investigation, they realised that I was innocent and was providing only hardware support,” he said.
Joseph said he was kept at a safe place and no harm was inflicted on him. "Embassy officials had ensured that I was safe at the camp," he added. In the three-and-a-half months' time, Joseph met his wife only once. “I was produced in court four times. I came to know Indian Embassy officials were present whenever they brought me to court,” he told The Hindu.