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Press Releases, 5/9/2013 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

The Finns abducted in Yemen are free

Press Release 109/2013
9 May 2013    

The Finns abducted in Sanaa, Yemen on 21 December 2012, Leila and Atte Kaleva, have been freed. The Finnish man and woman are safe and will return to their loved ones as soon as possible. The Austrian abducted at the same time, Dominik Neubauer, is also free. This positive outcome is the result of close cooperation between Finland and Austria.

The Finns now released are at present in Austria. In view of the circumstances, they are in good condition. The long deprivation of liberty, however, is a traumatic experience both for those abducted and for their loved ones. Their families hope that the press will continue to respect their privacy as well as they did during the period of captivity, and will allow those now freed to recover in peace.

Finland would like to thank Austria, Oman, the authorities of Yemen and all other international contacts for their cooperation in resolving this issue. To resolve this issue, extremely good and close cooperation has been conducted in Finland between the President, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Finnish authorities warmly thank the family members of those now freed, who despite their deep concern have acted calmly throughout the 140-day ordeal.

In this context, thanks are also expressed to the Finnish media for their responsible behaviour during the period of captivity by not publishing any information detrimental to the safety of those abducted.

Yemen remains a highly dangerous travel destination. The risk of being abducted is real, nor do all cases end as well. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs recommends that all travel to Yemen be avoided, and urges Finns in the country to leave immediately.

Additional information: The duty officer at the Communications Desk of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. mobile tel. +358 40 590 6571

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Updated 5/9/2013

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