Yemen website shows video of French hostages

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 12, 2011 4:00 PM
Yemen website shows video of French hostages

SANAA (Reuters) - A Yemeni website on Monday carried a video showing three people it said were French aid workers kidnapped in Yemen in May, with one of them saying the French government had done little to win their release.

"We have been held hostage for 102 days and the French and Yemeni governments don't appear to be concerned about our situation and do nothing to end our captivity, while they are aware of the (captors') demands," a man who identified himself as one of the hostages said in French on the brief video.

"Why this abandonment? We address ourselves to the French people, to human rights organizations," said the man.

The authenticity of the video posted on YouTube by the independent news website Al-Masdar Online could not be verified.

In Paris, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "The assessment of a video is currently being carried out to authenticate and analyze it."

Samir Jubran, Al-Masdar Online's editor, told Reuters the video had been emailed by an unknown person who said it was only sent to the website.

Jubran said a French diplomat in Yemen confirmed that the three on the video were the hostages.

The video showed the two women captives wearing Islamic headscarves and seated on the floor on either sides of the male hostage.

The aid workers disappeared in the southeastern province of Hadramout. Yemeni and French authorities have previously said the three were probably kidnapped.

The three work for Triangle Generation Humanitaire, a Lyon-based charity operating in the Arabian Peninsula country which has been in the grip of civil unrest for months.

Kidnappings of Western tourists or workers by tribes seeking ransom or concessions from the government have been frequent in Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries. Most hostages have been freed unharmed.

(Reporting by Firouz Sedarat in Dubai, Mohammed Ghoobari in Sanaa and John Irish in Paris)