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Detained Yemeni Christians Face Possible Torture & Death-ICC Initiates Petition to Secure Their Release

Contact: Jonathan Racho, Regional Manager for Africa, International Christian Concern, (ICC), 800-ICC (422)-5441, jonathan@persecution.org

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has learned that Yemeni authorities continue to detain the Christians who converted from Islam to Christianity.

In press releases dated June 27, 2008 and July 2, 2008, we reported on the detention of seven Christians by Yemeni authorities. We are excited to see that AP and Fox News have started to follow the story. According to the AP, an unidentified Yemeni authority admitted that his country had detained nine Christian converts from Islam between May and August 2008. ICC has obtained the names of several of the detained Christians but for their safety at this time, we cannot reveal their names.

Our sources indicated that the Christians were detained by the Political Security Office, which is headed by Colonel Ghaleb Al Qamish.

The Political Security Office is infamous for carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture and other forms of egregious human rights violations with impunity. The imprisoned Christians are also feared to be experiencing torture and even facing death.

ICC's president, Jeff King, said, "The detention of the Yemeni Christians not only violates their human rights but also exposes them for further human rights violations like torture and even extrajudicial killings. Yemeni authorities should fulfill their obligations under international human rights law by releasing the Christians and respecting the freedom of their citizens to follow the religion of their choice."

ICC calls upon those concerned about the plight of the detained Yemeni Christians to pray for their safety and release from detention.

Those concerned can also take part in campaign to win freedom for the detained Yemenis by signing our petition that calls for their release. The petition is addressed to Yemeni embassy in the United States.

To view and sign the petition, please click this link: http://www.persecution.org/suffering/petitions.php

You are free to disseminate the above news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.persecution.org.