Kidnapped couple released in Yemen

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No image availableNL Times

The Dutch couple that was kidnapped in Yemen in June has been released. NOS, NRC Handelsblad and Elsevier journalist Judith Spiegel and her husband Boudewijn Berendsen are currently at the Dutch embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, and they are expected to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reported.

A release from the Ministry says Minister Frans Timmermans has spoken to the couple and quotes him as “formidably happy and relieved”. Timmermans said it was great news for the couple, their families and loved ones. “They’re doing relatively well and Minister Timmermans hopes they can be reunited with their families quickly,” the release said.

Spiegel and Berendsen were kidnapped by armed men in Sana’a on June 8. In a video message released in July they appealed for help from the Dutch Government, after which the news about their situation ebbed.

Foreign Affairs said in its release that it has consistently urged the Yemeni authorities to take responsibility for returning the couple safely and unharmed. It said the Dutch ambassador in Yemen has now –on behalf of Dutch Government- extended appreciation to the country’s Government for its role in the happy ending.