(IB Times) Isis: Eritrean teen migrant forced to witness Libya massacre - 'I watched IS beheading Christians'

From: Biniam Tekle <biniamt_at_dehai.org_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:24:19 -0400


Isis: Eritrean teen migrant forced to witness Libya massacre - 'I
watched IS beheading Christians'

EXCLUSIVE: IBTimes UK talks to Nael Goitom, who escaped IS in Libya
after a month in captivity.

By Gianluca Mezzofiore Senior Foreign News Reporter from Catania
April 23, 2015 09:50 BST

A 16-year-old Eritrean migrant who escaped captivity under the Islamic
State (Isis) in Libya has exclusively told IBTimes UK that the
jihadists forced him to watch the beheading and shooting of Eritrean
and Ethiopian Christians.

Nael Goitom fled IS captivity along with four other Eritreans minors
on 7 April after the extremists decided to move their Libyan camp in
the desert to get away from fighting in the area.

"We thought: it's better to try to escape than to wait to be
slaughtered by them," he told IBTimes UK in an interview. They walked
for four days before reaching a settled area and asking for help.

Under more than a month of IS captivity, the Christian boys were
forced to learn the Koran to become "Cubs of the Caliphate". "They
asked us 'what do you choose, to be killed or to become Muslims?' Of
course we choose the latter. 'We'll fight for you', we said," Nael

More about Libyan beach massacre

Israel paid my Eritrean friend $3,500 to get out - Isis beheaded him
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Mediterranean crisis: Sub-Saharan migrants arrive in Italy after Libyan hell

Ethiopia: Police fire tear gas on protesters after Isis beheadings in Libya

But the most harrowing account regards the execution of dozens of
Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians in Libya by IS militants, which was
shown in a 30-minute video featuring extensive rants against
Christianity and the West.

The final part of the clip shows a group of men dressed in black who
are said to be hostages in southern Libya held by a group of IS
fighters clutching machine guns.

Then, the prisoners are shot in the back of the head. The video also
depicts masked militants escorting a group of men in orange jumpsuits
along a beach. The men's severed heads are later shown in the sand.

(From left) Abraham Naizghi, Yasin Abdulaziz, Yohannes Mebrahtu, Nael
Goitom, Thomas Ghiwet and Aman Shishay escaped IS in Libya after one
month of captivity

'We were forced to watch IS cutting heads'

"They made me watch everything," Nael said. "After the kidnapping they
put us in one big hole, Eritreans and Ethiopians."

"Then one day they came over and brought black clothes and asked 47
people to wear them. Then, they took them to the sea. They also
carried 10 minors, I was among them. I saw when IS shot them dead. We
kept screaming," he continued.

The jihadists reportedly did the same with the rest of the group –
about 14 people – who were forced to wear orange jumpsuits. "We were
forced to watch IS cut their heads," Nael said.

The boy was kidnapped on 3 March after he crossed Libya from Sudan
along with other 61 Eritrean men, 10 Eritrean women and 8 Ethiopians.
About 20 or 30 armed IS members stopped the Tripoli-bound caravan of
migrants in the middle of the southern Libyan desert and they started
asking religious questions.

"They wanted to know who was Muslim among us. We Christians had
crosses and pictures of Jesus, so we really couldn't hide it," he

'I keep seeing people being slaughtered and shot one by one'

The Islamic State video warns Christians they will not be safe unless
they embrace Islam or pay protection money

Somalians were allowed to continue, while Eritreans and Ethiopians
were driven to the IS camp in the desert. There were about 300-400
members of the jihadist group in the camp and for days the prisoners,
who were tied and held in a large hole, were told that "the boss will
come and decided our destiny".

Nael recognised three Eritreans fighting for IS. "We hoped they were
going to help us, but instead they showed no emotions," he said.

After his escape, Nael and four other minors – Yohannes Mebrahtu,
Thomas Ghiwet, Abraham Naizghi and Aman Shishay – walked for four days
before running into a Sudanese man who drove them towards the Sahara
where most of the refugees gather. Then, a smuggler got them into
Tripoli, where Nael's brother lives.

Despite the lucky escape, Nael is still traumatised by the ordeal.

"I'm starting to process it now. Until a few days ago it was just a
matter of survival. Now I have a lot of nightmares, I keep seeing
people being slaughtered and shot one by one," he said.
Received on Thu Apr 23 2015 - 14:24:59 EDT

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