Muscat: US Secretary of State John Kerry has welcomed the release of Wallead Yusuf Pitts Luqman, a US citizen, who had been detained in Yemen for more than a year and a half.
Read here: Oman helps in release of US citizen, admits injured Yemenis
On Sunday evening, Wallead was freed and transported to Oman on the Royal Directives of His Majesty, after a request from the US government.
“My team and I have been focused on Wallead's detention since the beginning, working closely with our partners in the region, and I have also been in direct contact with his family. I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and the government of Oman for their leadership and assistance in securing Luqman's safe return,” Kerry said in an official statement.
According to media reports in the US, Wallead was a marine veteran and was abducted by rebels. He was working as an English teacher when he was abducted.
On October 19, Luqman’s wife, Jihan Mohamed, went public with her husband’s abduction, hoping the move would help free him.
In a Facebook post, she said that her husband Wallead Luqman, an American citizen, was being held unjustly in Sana’a by the Political Security Organization. He was taken off a bus while trying to leave Yemen in April 2015.
“They had no reason to take him and there are no charges. After months of not knowing his condition or where he was, I finally received proof of life this year. While other Americans continue to be released, Wallead is left behind. Wallead has missed too much, his children need him in their life, he needs to come home now,” Jihan’s post read.
“My husband was there with his family; he is a loving father, husband, and son. He was in Yemen teaching Yemenis English and allowing his children to experience a more simple life and to not take things for granted. Wallead has been gone from his family for too long and it is time for him to come home to his family. He is a good family man, good Muslim, and he should be returned to his wife and children,” her post added.