Thursday, February 28, 2013

Global Impact: Update--Swiss Hostage, Held by Yemeni Tribesmen for a Year, Released Safe, Well, Thanks to Qatari Government

According to Reuters, Swiss citizen Sylvia Abrahat, 34, who was held for nearly a year as a hostage in Yemen has been freed by her abductors and flown to Doha yesterday (February 27) following mediation by the government of Qatar.

Armed tribesmen had kidnapped the young teacher in the western Yemeni port city of Hudaida in March 2012 to press their government to free jailed relatives.

COMMENT: An assistant to the Qatari foreign minister and the Swiss ambassador in Doha were at the airport to greet Ms. Abrahat and thank the government of Qatar for their successful effort.

In an unrelated development, a Finnish couple and an Austrian man are currently being held by suspected Islamist militants, having been sold by armed tribesmen who kidnapped them in December 2012. 

The Austrian hostage, Dominik Neubauer, 26, appeared in a video clip posted on the Internet on February 21, saying he would be killed if ransom money was not paid to a Yemeni tribe within a week, which ends tomorrow (March 1).

In the video clip, an AK-47 assault rifle was pointed at Mr. Neubauer's head.

On Wednesday (February 27), Mr. Neubauer's family appealed for clemency as the execution deadline approached.