Three Al Jazeera staff kidnapped in Yemen have been released after 10 days, but are believed to have been subjected to torture. The men – cameraman Abdulaziz al-Sabri, correspondent Hamdi al-Bokari and driver Moneer al-Sabai – were filming for Al Jazeera Arabic in Taiz when they were abducted, Al Jazeera has reported.
On his Facebook page, Hamdi al-Bokari, who lives in Sanaa in Yemen, wrote: "We heard them chanting and screaming 'death to America'... we were exposed to torture." Al-Bokari also thanked his parents, wife, children and God for helping him to 'withstand the pressure' adding his gratitude to the channel, his colleagues and friends. "We are stronger and more resilient," he wrote, adding "I'll tell you the details in the next few days."
The three men are believed to have been released in the early hours of Thursday (28 January 2016), with no group officially claiming responsibility for the kidnapping as yet. At the time of the abduction, Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, commented: "They were covering events in the besieged city of Taiz, reporting on the human cost of the conflict. Our colleagues were simply doing their job of reporting the story and informing the world of what is taking place in Yemen. We hold their abductors responsible for their safety and security."
Prior to their release, Al-Bokari said the men were given new clothes and a razor, and told to wash. He is expected to give a more detailed account of his ordeal in the next few days. His latest Facebook post, from around 4am GMT (7am local time) read: "I'm going to rest and you subsequently put you in a picture of what happened in full as I lived and saw faced... Wait for us in the coming days."
Several Al Jazeera journalists have been kidnapped or killed in the past, the most recent being in December 2015, when a cameraman for the news service was shot and died in the Syrian province of Homs.