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Archive for Yemen

Newsline: Three Employees of US Embassy Detained in Yemen

The Yemeni security services officers, controlled by the Houthi rebel movement, detained and took to an unknown place three employees of the US Embassy in Sanaa, without bringing any charges against them, a source in the services told Sputnik. Earlier in the day, local media reported that the militias had detained 12 employees of the United Nations and staff members of the US Embassy in Sanaa. “Yemeni militias detained three employees of the US embassy separately and took them to an unknown place,” the source said. According to him, the charges have not yet been brought against the detainees. The incident has not been announced officially. A source in the local United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) denied reports of the detention of its employees. “This news is not true,” the source said.



Newsline: Former US diplomat again found liable for raping housekeeper

A former U.S. diplomat has for the second time been found liable for enslaving and sexually trafficking a housekeeper while posted at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. A jury in Alexandria, Va., federal court on Monday agreed that Linda Howard and her husband Russell Howard forced an Ethiopian maid into sexual slavery in 2008, repeatedly raping her. Howard was ordered to pay $3 million in damages to the now 30-year-old woman, identified only Sarah Roe, who lives in Virginia. Five years ago, Howard and her Australian husband, Russell Howard, were found liable in the same court for trafficking another Ethiopian housekeeper in 2008. They were ordered to pay her $3.3 million. However, the couple had already fled from Arlington, Va. to Australia and contested the judgment there, settling only in 2015. Howard left the State Department in 2013; her husband died in 2012. She denied the fresh allegations and argued that Roe could not sue for civil damages under a human trafficking law that did not pass until 2008.


Newsline: Qatar expels Yemen embassy mission in Doha

The Qatari authorities have asked members of the Yemeni embassy mission in Doha to leave the country within 48 hours. A Yemeni diplomatic source told Sputnik Arabic that the Qatari authorities informed the Yemeni diplomats to leave in a maximum of two days from the date of the meeting. Yemeni Foreign Ministry based in Riyadh has commented on this development.


Newsline: Yemeni Rebels Fire at US Embassy

A splinter group of Al Qaeda said that it fired a rocket that landed near the United States Embassy in Sana, wounding several guards, to retaliate for what it said was an American drone strike in a northern province of Yemen. The State Department said that it had no indication that the embassy was the target of the attack, and that none of its staff members were wounded. The rocket landed about 200 yards from the heavily fortified embassy, near members of the Yemeni special police force who guard the site. At least two were wounded, the police said. It was fired from a car using a M72 light antitank weapon, a police official said. Several hours after the attack, Ansar al-Shariah, an affiliate of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said on its Twitter account that it had targeted the embassy with a rocket, wounding several guards and damaging a vehicle. The group said the attack was an act of revenge for a drone strike that had seriously wounded children in the northern province of Al Jawf.


Newsline: US orders evacuation of embassy staff in Yemen

The US State Department ordered some of its diplomats and other government workers at the US embassy in Yemen to leave the country because of deteriorating security amid unrest and sectarian clashes that have left Shia rebels in control of the capital. “The Department of State ordered a temporary reduction in the number of US government personnel in Yemen,” the department said in a statement. “We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution and in response to recent political developments and the changing, unpredictable security situation in Yemen.” A separate travel warning for US citizens said the step was taken “due to the continued civil unrest and the potential for military escalation.” It said the embassy in Sana’a would remain open with a majority of staff remaining and that the relocation of staff would be temporary.


Newsline: Iran claims Yemen is responsible for abduction of diplomat

A top Tehran official says the Yemeni government is responsible for the abduction of an Iranian diplomat last year. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian criticized the Yemeni government’s inaction on Nour Ahmad Nikbakht’s arrest, adding the kidnapped Iranian diplomat is now being held in a security prison of the Yemeni government. He, however, said that received updates from Sana’a are in contradiction with what Yemeni authorities have told Iran about the abducted diplomat. Iran will pursue efforts to secure the diplomat’s release, the official said, reiterating that Nikbakht is in good health. Nikbakht was on his way to work from his home in the diplomatic quarter of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on July 21, 2013 when unidentified gunmen blocked the road, forced him out of his vehicle and abducted him. He has been detained in Yemen for more than a year.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia shuts down embassy in Yemen

Saudi Arabia issued orders to shut down its embassy in Sana’a and evacuate Saudi nationals from Yemen, due to the country’s volatile security situation. “Orders were given to shut down the Saudi embassy in Sana’a and evacuate all officials and employees in the embassy until the situation in Yemen improves,” the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan cited an anonymous high-ranking Saudi diplomat as saying. “The charge d’affairs [acting ambassador] at the Saudi Embassy to Yemen, Haza’a Al-Mutairi, along with 50 other Saudi nationals working in the embassy left Sana’a,” said the diplomat. The embassy’s closure follows growing tensions between the Yemeni government and Houthi protesters in Sana’a who are calling for a new government and the reinstatement of fuel subsidies. The closure of the embassy affects Yemeni residents who want to get visas to work in Saudi Arabia.