Dutch couple kidnapped in Yemen make video appeal for action

A Dutch couple kidnapped in Yemen last month have appeared in an internet appeal for help, saying they are ‘very, very, very frightened’ and may be shot within 10 days.

Journalist Judith Spiegel and her partner Boudewijn Berendsen were taken from their house in the capital Sana’a, probably in the second week of June.

Spiegel works for various Dutch publications and, according to the Guardian, also teaches at the Lebanese university in Sana’a. Berendsen works for the insurance sector. Experts say the kidnappers may be seeking to extract a ransom.


The video makes it clear there has been contact between the couple and the Dutch authorities.

‘We have a major problem,’ Spiegel says in the video. ‘Early on we spoke to the ambassador and we have explained what the conditions are to get us out. Nothing has happened so far. There has been no movement.’

Berendsen continues: ‘We are very, very, very frightened. A solution has to be found.’

The video was uploaded to YouTube on July 13 and is being spread via Facebook, Nos television said.

‘Family, media, fellow Dutchmen, do something,’ Spiegel says in tears. ‘We will be here forever if we are not dead in 10 days. So, everyone do something, do something.’


Foreign minister Frans Timmermans said on his Facebook page that kidnapping cases always have ‘our full attention’. ‘But I must add that speaking about this [sort of thing] in public seldom or never helps bring about a good solution.’

A spokesman for the foreign ministry said there has been contact with the family of the two Dutch nationals.

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