Tags: france | yemen | hostage | women | Isabelle Prime

France Studying Video of Woman Thought Taken Hostage in Yemen

Monday, 01 Jun 2015 06:10 AM

France is trying to authenticate a video purporting to show a Frenchwoman taken hostage in Yemen appealing to President Francois Hollande and Yemen's exiled President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi to seek her release, a diplomatic source said on Monday.

The existence of the video of Isabelle Prime, a consultant for Yemen's Social Fund for Development, was reported by French regional daily Ouest-France on Monday. It was first posted on YouTube on May 4.

The video, seen by Reuters, shows Prime crouching on sand and in distress. She is dressed in black and makes her appeal in English.

"Mr. Hollande and Mr. Hadi, my name is Isabelle, I've been kidnapped 10 weeks ago in Yemen, in Sanaa. Please bring me to France fast because I'm really, really tired.

"I tried to kill myself several times because I know you will not cooperate and I totally understand."

There has been no public claim of responsibility for her abduction so far, although French officials have said they are working on her release without giving details.

Prime and her Yemeni translator Shereen Makawi were abducted by gunmen in the capital Sanaa in February while the pair were on their way to work.

Yemeni tribal sources said in March that Prime was set to be released, but only Makawi was freed.

In recent years tribesmen have taken foreigners hostage to press the government to provide them with services or to free jailed relatives.

Yemen is also home to one of the most active branches of al-Qaida, to which tribal kidnappers have reportedly often sold their kidnapping victims.

Since Prime's abduction the situation in Yemen has become more complex. Hadi fled into exile in March after Iranian-allied Houthi fighters, who had seized the capital Sanaa last September, advanced toward his southern stronghold in Aden.

A Saudi-led coalition is carrying out airstrikes on Houthi positions in an effort to restore him to power. France provides intelligence to that coalition, officials have said.

Nearly 2,000 people have been killed and more than 8,000 wounded in the conflict since March 19, the United Nations has said.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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France is trying to authenticate a video purporting to show a Frenchwoman taken hostage in Yemen appealing to President Francois Hollande and Yemen's exiled President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi to seek her release, a diplomatic source said on Monday.
france, yemen, hostage, women, Isabelle Prime
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2015-10-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 06:10 AM
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