Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yemen: British Teacher Based in Sana'a Released After Five Months' in Captivity

According to The Yemen Post, Mike Harvey, a British teacher, based in the capital of Sana'a was successfully freed on Saturday (July 26), after five months in captivity; a video depicted those who negotiated his release online. 

In the video, Harvey, who came to teach English in the Yemeni capital is seen sitting next to the tribal committee which arranged for his safe release.

Harvey was kidnapped by tribesmen last February in the heart the capital in broad daylight.

COMMENT: According to media reports, the British government reportedly paid £140,000 (US$230,000) to secure his safe release.

No British official has agreed to comment on the terms of Harvey's release.

Sources in Yemen have explained that it is unlikely the British Embassy will care to elaborate on the matter since Britain has made clear that it would not indulge into blackmail as a matter of principle. 

A spokesman for the British Foreign Office only commented that Harvey’s release was made possible by Yemen’s relentless determination and the actions of tribal intermediaries.

While Harvey appears a bit bewildered in the video, which given the circumstances is to be expected, he does not appear to have suffered any mistreatment.

It was following Mohammed Saleh Abood’s intervention [al-Jawf governor) that Harvey was finally freed by his captors.