When abduction means power [Archives:2005/906/Local News]

December 26 2005

SANA'A, Dec. 24 – A spokesman of the Ministry of Interior announced Saturday the release of the two Austrian tourists, who were kidnapped last Tuesday in Marib governorate. Saba News agency affirmed that the hostages were released on Tuesday December 20 by three young men from Al Hateek area, which is part of Abida tribe in Marib. The released tourists are the Archaeology Professor Peter Schurs 52, from Vienna, and his friend the Architecture Barbara Meisterhofer 21,from Austria.

The kidnappers told the mediators that 'they resorted to kidnapping because they failed to convince the security authorities to release their relatives and refer them to judiciary. Their detained relatives are Mohamed Saeed Hassan Jameel, Abdulazeez Saeed Jardan and Ali Bin Ali Doha.

They added that they have released the kidnapped pair, after they highlighted their detainee's case. They say that they succeeded to convey a message to the political leadership. They think that now the media and human rights organizations know that the arrest of their relatives is a clear ignorance of human rights.

The kidnappers abducted the two tourists from old Marib town north east of Sana'a. They wanted to put pressure on security to release three of their relatives, who were arrested upon their arrival from Syria, a year ago. Security authorities claim the three detainees have been accused of fighting the US-led coalition in the Iraqi territories. They also accuse them of having connection with one of the organizations facilitating the transportation of Yemeni fighters to Iraq.

However, relatives of the detainees deny these allegations and insist that the three young men went to Syria for medical treatment. They demand that their sons should be referred to judiciary, which security authorities refuse to do.

Security sources confirmed that the tourists were released at 03.00 A.M. Saturday, and they were in good health. They headed to one of Marib hotels, after being handed over by tribal men to the house of the Governor of Marib, Mr. Abdulla Alnassi.

It is worth saying that the Austrian foreign Ministry had made a committee of crisis and emergency to follow up their citizen's case. Consequently the Austrian ambassador in Jordan arrived Sana'a on Friday. Another delegate came form the foreign Ministry in Vienna, in addition to an interior Ministry delegate. They meant to follow the developments in cooperation with the Austrian Consulate in Sana'a.

Kidnapping cases had stopped for sometime but they have now resumed. The latest kidnapping case was about a month ago in Marib. The kidnapped, a Swiss and his wife were released based to tribal mediation. The kidnapper was also demanding the release of his brother detained in similar circumstances.