British man languish in Yemen’s prison where prisoners and beaten, chained and threatened with rape
The family of Luke Symons, a 27-year-old British Muslim arrested by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, has destroyed the British government's failure to secure his release after an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper reported a high Houthi official had ordered his release last year.
Mr. Symons, who worked as a teacher in Yemen while studying Islam, tried to flee the war-torn country with his Yemini wife and their son in April 2017 when he was arrested by Houthi militants at a security check in the capital of Yemen, Sana & # 39; on suspicion of espionage.
According to his family, Mr. Symons, who has Yemeni relatives and moved to Yemen in 2012 shortly after his conversion to Islam, was arrested for carrying a British passport.
Luke Symons, 27, from Cardiff on his wedding day in Yemen in 2014. Mr Symons has been detained by Houthi militants since April 2017 after trying to flee the war-torn country with his Yemeni wife and child
UAE-based newspaper The national reported that from December 2018, Mr Symond's family had obtained a copy of a release order signed by senior Houthi officer Sultan Al Samei.
& # 39; Order the release of British prisoner Luke Anthony Symons, who has been in jail for two years because there is no evidence against him at all, & # 39; said the document.
Mr Symon's British family claims that he has been tortured in prison, including beaten and refused food.
Human rights organization based in New York Human Rights Watch have reported that Houthi militants used their powers to make & # 39; profit through detention, torture and murder & # 39 ;.
Mr. Symons' grandfather, Robert Cummings, said that Luke, who has Yemeni relatives, had converted to Islam in 2012 and shortly afterwards moved to Yemen to study the religion
Speaking with MailOnline, Mr. Symons grandfather Robert Cummings hurled the British government's response to the imprisonment of his grandson and called it & # 39; a shame & # 39; and said no one did anything about the release his family had been trying to obtain in Yemen.
Mr Cummings said that he had been to London three times to visit ministers, but that no progress had been made.
& # 39; The only reason we have this release document is that Luke's brother-in-law has appealed to the Houthi courts & # 39 ;, he said.
Mr. Cummings accused Theresa May of dealing with the situation and said: & # 39; When Theresa May was in charge, she was so connected to the Saudis that she was no help at all.
& # 39; The first six months that Luke was being held in prison, this government would not even believe he was being held in prison, despite being told in the first week of his imprisonment. & # 39;
Luke Symons pictured on his 18th birthday before converting to Islam and moving to Yemen
A document obtained by Mr. Symons family, allegedly signed by a Houthi official, accusing Mr. Symons' release and his exemption from espionage
& # 39; All the information this government has about Luke that they got from us, we told them exactly which prison he was in, & said "Mr. Cummings," they never did anything. & # 39;
& # 39; The only reason that Luke is in prison is because he has a British passport, and the government must admit that, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; They know why he was detained, Luke has had his release paper for 12 months. Why wasn't he released? Has anyone placed that paper with [the Houthi & # 39; s]? & # 39;
Mr. Cummings said that he had spoken to Mr. Symons only three times in the past year and that his mental health was deteriorating.
The chairman of the South Wales Islamic Center, Daoud Ali Salaman, a local Muslim organization who assisted the family, also criticized the government's reaction and stated that the government only started paying attention with the help of their local Labor MP Kevin Brennan.
Mr. Salaman also condemned the Houthi militants who arrested Mr. Symons, & # 39; they are a bad party, they just catch everyone they encounter on their path, including the local Yemenites. & # 39;
Salaman called on the British government to do more to help the family.
& # 39; We hope that he is released and that he and his wife and son can return so that he can live in peace, but he is not receiving much help from the British government here.
In a conversation with MailOnline, Kevin Brennan of Labor praised Mr. Cummings for his determination to see Mr. Symons released.
& # 39; He really fought hard for his grandson, who is an unfortunate person who got caught in the civil war in Yemen, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; Unfortunately, I don't think the British authorities were really there for him and his family when he tried to flee the country & # 39;
& # 39; I worked with his family to ensure that the foreign office gives this a high priority, & # 39; he said.
Mr. Brennan said he & # 39; has called on the government to do everything possible to secure Mr. Symons' release and to remove him and his family from that situation & # 39 ;.
However, Mr Symons' grandfather did not sound hopeful that the government was doing enough.
"It is a terrible situation, and the country keeps telling me that they are doing their best, but he is not a priority, he is not a priority at all," said Mr. Cummings.
& # 39; What I would really like to know is how many people in this country actually know what's going on in Yemen? & # 39; he said.
& # 39; It has been proven in court that this country is selling weapons to Saudi Arabia to kill women and children & he said.
& # 39; What was the point of going to court in this country and being found guilty of getting away with it? & # 39;
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