French hostage pleads for release in Yemen video

French hostage last seen in Sanaa in February appears in video pleading for release

Photo by: Public Domain
Photo by: Public Domain

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A French woman last seen prior to her capture in February appeared in a video on Monday, pleading for her release.

Isabelle Prime, worked as a consultant in association with the World Bank when she was abducted from Sanaa along with a Yemeni translator. The Yemeni citizen was released shortly after, but the World Bank consultant was unheard of till her appearance in the video.

The video shows Prime covered entirely in black clothing looking weak and abused.

In the video Prime addressed the French President, Francois Hollande and the Yemeni President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, pleading “Please bring me to France fast because I am really, really tired.”

The captors of Prime are yet to be identified. Yemen is a hotbed of active and dangerous terrorist activity with strong links to Al Qaeda.

A spokesperson from France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acknowledged that the video is genuine and was recorded in April. Officials from the ministry will meet the family on Tuesday, he added.

The spokesperson said, the French authorities are “mobilised to obtain the release’’ of the fellow French citizen in question.

Yemen is currently in a state of war, with Iranian-backed Houthi rebels controlling the capital Sana'a and several other municipalities. The Houthi rebels are are allied with the deposed Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Hadi, internationally recognised as the president of Yemen was forced to flee.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia began implementing the launch of air strikes on rebel and rebel controlled territory in Yemen. The air strikes have done very little to force the rebels out and have killed more than 1,000 civilians and displaced 500,000.

On Monday, more air strikes targeted Sanaa and secret weapon depots of the Houthi rebels close by Naqoum mountain.


TRTWorld and agencies