Dutch hostages 'treated very well' by Yemen kidnappers

Judith Spiegel said she and her partner Boudewijn Berendsen after their release in Yemen (11 December 2013) Judith Spiegel said she had "no idea" if a ransom had been paid

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A Dutch couple freed after months in captivity in Yemen said they received good treatment from their kidnappers.

Speaking to reporters at Sanaa airport before boarding a flight home, Dutch journalist Judith Spiegel said she and her partner Boudewijn Berendsen were "treated very well... the Yemeni way".

Ms Spiegel said they had probably been held by "tribes" rather than al-Qaeda.

The couple were taken from a house in Sanaa on 8 June and released in recent days close to the Dutch embassy.

In mid-July, Ms Spiegel made an impassioned plea for help in a video posted online.

She urged the Dutch authorities to do anything to secure their release and warned that if no solution was found within 10 days, she and Mr Berendsen might be executed by their "armed" captors.

She had "no idea" if a ransom had been paid for their release.

'Very happy'

On Tuesday, the government of the Netherlands said in a statement that it was "extremely pleased" to welcome the news of their release.

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"The couple is in a good physical condition, extremely happy to have survived their ordeal unharmed and wishes nothing more than to be soonest reunited with their family," it added.

Before flying to Amsterdam via Cairo on Wednesday morning, Ms Spiegel told a news conference: "We are very, very, very happy of course that finally this kidnap is over."

"We are doing very well. We were treated very well... We were treated the Yemeni way, so that was very nice, from the not so nice kidnapping."

No-one has said they were behind the abduction.

But Ms Spiegel, who worked as a freelance journalist in Sanaa, dismissed reports that they had been held by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"I'm not so sure about that," she said. "I think [they were] just tribes."

Yemeni tribesmen have repeatedly kidnapped foreigners to use as a way of getting concessions from the government. More than 200 have been seized over the past 15 years, with most being released unharmed.

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