London says Yemen frees Briton held since 2017

AFP , Sunday 24 Apr 2022

Britain said on Sunday it had secured the release of a citizen held since 2017 in Yemen, where he was allegedly tortured.

Elizabeth Truss
Elizabeth Truss, Britain s Foreign Secretary leaves a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, April 19, 2022.


"Delighted that Luke Symons, who was unlawfully detained, without charge or trial since 2017 in Yemen by the Houthis, has been released and will shortly be reunited with his family," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement issued by her department.

"I pay tribute to our Omani and Saudi partners and our team for securing his release."

Symons, 30, was detained by Houthi rebels in southwest Yemen along with his Yemeni wife on suspicion of espionage, which his family strongly denies.

They say his arm was broken during one interrogation in a bid to force a confession, and that his physical and mental health has degenerated during solitary confinement in the capital Sanaa.

His wife was released and has been able to visit him periodically in the prison, and recently voiced concern at his condition, according to Symons's grandfather Robert Cummings.

"Luke's going through hell. He's getting no medical attention, and we've been going backwards, not forward, with this (UK) government," Cummings told AFP by phone in February from the family's home in Cardiff.

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