Australian intelligence used to jail woman in Yemen

The Sidney Morning Herald reports that, according to Yemen’s National Organisation for Defending Rights and Freedoms, Australia provided intelligence about a Yemeni-based Australian woman – who was subsequently jailed and her young children placed under home detention – to Yemeni security police via the FBI.

”Yemen is dealing with the FBI, which has its own office in Yemen, and we believe that the FBI is the connection between the intelligence of the Yemeni government and the intelligence of the Australian government”, said the head of Yemen’s National Organisation for Defending Rights and Freedoms, Mohamed Naji Allawo.

Ms Giddins had her Australian passport cancelled by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on April 10 at the request of ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation). Her Australian lawyer, Stephen Hopper, received a letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday which stated: ”ASIO assesses Giddins has an extremist interpretation of Islam and her activities in Yemen are prejudicial to security.” She is now being held at Sanaa’s central prison, and has been refused access both to legal representation and her children – who had their passports confiscated and remain under detention in a Sanaa apartment.

Ms Giddins’ arrest comes in the middle of a crackdown on foreigners suspected of being linked to a local jihadi group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – known as AQAP.


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