'The five Bangladeshi seamen who were held captive by Houthi rebels in Yemen's Sana for nine months have been freed,' said Md Shahriar Alam, the state minister for foreign affairs and Rajshahi 6 MP, in Facebook a post on Wednesday afternoon
The five Bangladeshi sailors – who were held captive by Yemen's Houthi rebels with several others of different nationalities for nearly nine months – have been freed and soon will return to Bangladesh.
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, shared the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon.
The sailors were released following two month long joint efforts made by Bangladesh Missions in Oman and Kuwait and Indian Mission in East African country Djibouti.
The minister wrote: “Five Bangladeshi sailors working for a ship company in Oman have been detained by the Houthis for a long time in Sanaa, Yemen. Indian nationals were also detained.
ইয়েমেনের সানায় দীর্ঘদিন থেকে হুতিদের হাতে আটক হয়েছিলেন ওমানের একটি জাহাজ কোম্পানিতে কাজ করা বাংলাদেশী ৫ জন নাবিক। সাথে...Posted by Md Shahriar Alam MP on Wednesday, December 2, 2020
“After being detained for nine months, they were allowed to use their mobile phones after receiving a partial ransom from the ship's owner. One of the detainees first contacted me about two months ago.”
“Thanks to the efforts of our embassies in Oman and Kuwait and the Indian embassy in Djibouti. They are expected to arrive in Aden tomorrow (Thursday). From there, they are expected to reach Bangladesh via India with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM),” Shahriar Alam further wrote.
Earlier on Sunday, several media reports said that twenty sailors, including five Bangladeshis, are being held captive by Houthi rebels for nine months.
Two of those detained were from India’s Kerala, seven from Maharashtra, two from Tamil Nadu, one each from Puducherry and Uttar Pradesh and the other seven were from Bangladesh and Egypt, reported The New Indian Express.
The sailors have been held captive in Sanaa since February. They were en route to Saudi Arabia from Oman on three ships before being captured by Houthi rebels.
Sanaa, the capital of civil war-torn Yemen, is under Houthi control. The Houthi rebels usually detain foreign nationals for ransom.
One of the captives said on WhatsApp: “We were on our way to the port of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia for construction work. On the way, we got the news that a ship had sunk in the Red Sea.
“We rescued them and anchored off the coast of Yemen in early February. Introducing themselves as members of the coast guard, some people took us to Sana’a. We later came to know that they were Houthi rebels. They said we were apprehended on the charge of encroaching on Yemen’s territorial waters.”