German Aid Worker, Parents Kidnapped in Yemen

Submitted by jcravens42 on December 17, 2008 - 12:53pm.

Tribesmen kidnapped a German aid worker and her parents in southern Yemen on Monday and were holding them hostage, demanding the government release imprisoned clan members, Yemeni officials and a tribe leader said.

The aid worker, who is based in Yemen, and her visiting mother and father were snatched by Bani Dhabyan tribesmen in Dhamar province, located about 100 kilometers (65 miles) south of the capital, San'a, a Yemeni security official said.

The kidnappers are demanding the release of two tribesmen detained four months ago in connection with another kidnapping case.


Submitted by jcravens42 on December 21, 2008 - 9:44am.

A German aid worker and her parents have been freed by kidnappers after a five-day hostage ordeal in Yemen. The three were released on Friday morning after mediation by a tribal dignitary from the mountainous Bani Dhabyan region east of the capital, where they were seized on Sunday while on an excursion.

Architect Julia Thielebein has worked in Yemen for the past 10 years through the German economic development agency GTZ. She and her parents are still in Yemen.

Initial reports were that the kidnapper was demanding 200,000 dollars (144,000 euros) to compensate him for lost land and that police release his brother and son, who were arrested four months ago over a land dispute. Unconfirmed reports on a Yemeni Internet site, Marebnews, said the mediator had promised a ransom of 100,000 dollars and an assurance that the kidnapper would not face prosecution. He was also reportedly promised that the case of the two prisoners would be reviewed. On Thursday, a tribal source said the tribesmen holding the family hostage were also demanding the release of two Yemenis detained in the United States for supporting Al-Qaeda.

Jayne Cravens
Bonn, Germany

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.