Saudi Arabia arrests Yemenis for travel to Libya [Archives:2006/998/Front Page]

November 13 2006

SANA'A, Nov. 11 ) Locals from Al-Beidha governorate's Qaifa district have urged concerned parties in Sana'a to intercede in releasing their relatives, whom Saudi authorities detained Oct. 26 for traveling to Libya.

Qaifa district tribesmen met with Yemen' foreign minister Wednesday morning, who said he'll pursue efforts to determine why their relatives were arrested.

The son of Sheikh Saif Al-Qabali confirmed to Al-Ishtiraki Net by phone that his father and three other sheikhs from Qaifa tribe have been detained in a Saudi jail for more than two weeks due to traveling to Libya. Concluding his statement, Al-Qabali's son urged the Yemeni government to intervene in releasing the four.

Al-Shoura Net reported Oct. 26 that Saudi authorities arrested Al-Qabali, Qaifa's Sheikh of Sheikhs, and two others, Fadhl Al-Surmi and Saleh Amer Abu Seraima.

The same source said Saudi authorities arrested Al-Qabali and Al-Surmi while Seraima, who also was caught, was hosting them at his home. According to the source, the three were arrested after Seraima returned from Libya, which doesn't have good ties with Saudi Arabia.

Al-Qabali is a well-known national personality who founded Al-Haq Party in 1991, but resigned from it following the 1994 Civil War. He holds a diplomatic passport.

According to Al-Shoura Net, press reports revealed that Yemen's Foreign Ministry questioned its Saudi counterpart as to why the three sheikhs were detained after Qaifa tribesmen assembled at the ministry.

The same source said Sheikh Zaid Bin Seraima another Qaifa sheikh sent a letter to the Yemeni authorities via his family in Yemen saying that no one is allowed to visit the three detainees.

Numerous Arab and Yemeni media outlets reported last week that Saudi authorities circulated a general notice to their security apparatuses, including the names of Yemenis accused of terrorist operations and acts of vandalism.

Media sources mentioned that such action was based on information these individuals had, who appear on a list of those who've traveled to Libya more than once, met with Libyan intelligence apparatuses and machinated terrorist plots targeting Saudi interests.

Saudi authorities gave Yemen and neighboring countries the list of names, but didn't demand such countries extradite them, sources noted. “The Saudi general notice to security apparatuses contained orders to police to capture those listed. The notice's final statement instructs Saudi security apparatuses to contact and coordinate with their counterparts in neighboring countries to arrest the listed terrorists. The notice included Yemeni arms traffickers and sons of well-known sheikhs.”