Father of released son still wants kidnappers to stand trial [Archives:2008/1186/Local News]

September 1 2008

Almigdad Mojalli
SANA'A, August 31)Yemeni businessman Tawfiq Al-Khameri denied that he entered tribal arbitration or offered any ransom to kidnappers to obtain the release of his 17-year-old son Omer Al-Khameri who was kidnapped by members of the Bani Dhabyan tribe one month ago and was released last Thursday.

Al-Khameri said that President Ali Abdullah Saleh assigned various sheikhs from Bani Dhabian tribe to help solve the problem and release his son. “The sheikhs persuade the kidnappers and threatened them that the government will send a big campaign against them and then they responded to the sheikhs and released my son,” said Al-Khameri.

Though his son was released on Thursday, Al-Khameri maintains that the government should prosecute his son's kidnappers.

Al-Khameri said he will first try to bring the kidnappers to justice in Yemen, but is has alternatives if this isn't possible. “If the Yemeni judiciary doesn't make a just judgment for me, I will take it [the case] to the international judiciary,” he said.

Al-Khameri said that he has the names and photos of the kidnappers and will not only take them to the judiciary, but also intends to publish their names and photos in magazines and newspapers throughout Yemen and the Gulf. He said that this will warn people in other countries of such types of kidnappings.

Al-Sahwa.net, the online version of the Yemeni Islamic opposition paper, published an article that said that a tribal arbitration composed of Ahmed Obad Shuraif representing Bani Dhabyan and the Member of Parliament Sultan Al-Barakani representing Tawfeq Al-Khameri took over the issue and were the ones who released the hostage.

According to Al-Sahwa.net, Al-Khameri offered 10 cars and 20 rifles as a ransom for his son to a member of the Bani Dhabyan tribe. The tribe kidnapped Omer Al-Khameri in retaliation for an incident involving his uncle, Nabil Al-Khameri, the brother of Tawfiq, whom they said killed one of their tribe members in 1998 over a land dispute and a check for US $490.000.

Previously, Nabil Al-Khameri denied that he killed anybody and accused 12 individuals from Bani Dhabyan tribe of breaking into his company headquarters.

Last year, the Bani Dhabyan tribe kidnapped two male teenagers and five male engineers, holding them hostage for more than seven months over a financial dispute. The tribe said they would not release their hostages until they received YR 70,000,000 (approximately US $350,000). At that time, the Ministry of Interior declared its inability to release the hostages by force. In the end, according to tribal sources and the hostages, the Ministry of Interior paid approximately US $420,000 for the kidnappers to release the hostages. The Bani Dhabyan tribal area is about 40 kilometers to the east of Sana'a.