A video released on 15 July 2013 on YouTube and Facebook and then picked up by various news media has provided evidence that Dutch journalist Judith Spiegel and her husband, Boudewijn Berendsen, who were abducted by an armed group in Yemen just over a month ago, are still alive.
The 95-second video shows the two Dutch kidnap victims appealing to their country's government to satisfy the demands of their abductors within 10 days. “These people are armed,” Spiegel says in the clip. “If a solution is not found within 10 days, they are going to shoot us.”
What the kidnappers have demanded is not stated in the video and has not been made public.
Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns their abduction and the unacceptable way their lives are being threatened in order to press demands. Abductions are frequent in Yemen and journalists are often targeted by the armed groups that have proliferated since President Ali Abdallah Saleh's departure.
“We pin our hopes on the Dutch and European authorities,” Reporters Without Borders added. “The necessary resources must be deployed in order to obtain the release of this journalist and her husband as soon as possible.”
Spiegel is a Yemen-based reporter for various Dutch media including Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the Belgian broadcaster VRT.
She and her husband were kidnapped in the Sanaa neighbourhood of Hadda during the second week of June. The Yemeni police confirmed their disappearance on 15 June.
Video of Dutch journalist and husband abducted in Yemen surfaces
What other IFEX members are saying
Committee to Protect Journalists
International Federation of Journalists