Norwegian journalist arrested in Yemen to come home Sunday

GMT 12:04 2015 Sunday ,19 April

Arab Today, arab today Norwegian journalist arrested in Yemen to come home Sunday

Norwegian freelance journalist Raymond Lidal

Norwegian freelance journalist Raymond Lidal, who was arrested in late March in Yemen, has been released and will come home on Sunday, Norwegian News Agency (NTB) reported on Saturday.

Lidal, 28, was evacuated from Yemen Friday together with other foreign citizens. He arrived in Germany on Saturday and will come back to Norway on Sunday, his father, Anton Lidal, told NTB.

Lidal, who stayed in Yemen on student visa, was arrested in Yemen's capital Sanaa when he photographed the Saudi bombing of the country on March 29. He was reportedly accused of spying against the Shiite Houthi group.

The Norwegian man traveled to Yemen in 2011 to study the Arabic language. He began working in 2012 as a freelance journalist and contributed to multiple Norwegian media outlets, including Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and local newspaper Bergens Tidende.

Norwegian Foreign Ministry said last week that it was familiar with Lidal's case and was following up the matter through the embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, NRK reported.

"We have made it clear to Yemeni authorities that they are fully responsible for the life and health of the Norwegian citizen as long as he is in their custody," Norwegian Foreign Ministry's communications chief Frode Andersen was quoted as saying.

The Houthi group took control of Sanaa in September 2014. The security situation in Yemen has sharply deteriorated since early March when conflicts erupted in several provinces in the country's southern regions.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia started late last month air strikes on Houthi targets in Sanaa and other cities, saying the multinational action is to force the Houthis to retreat from cities they have seized since last year.

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