Friend Reveals ID of US Hostage in Yemen

Scott Darden was taken by rebels while transporting humanitarian aid
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2015 10:25 AM CDT
Scott Darden with his wife Diana Loesch and son Eesa.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – The wife of a 45-year-old Atlanta man—one of three Americans being held hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen—is pleading for his freedom. "We are asking for his safe return," Diana Loesch tells the Washington Post. "He loved the Yemeni people." The newspaper reports the identity of hostage Scott Darden was made public yesterday against the wishes of the US government when his best friend launched a Facebook page advocating for his release. “Americans deserve to know that their fellow citizen, a good-hearted man earning an honest living abroad, was taken prisoner in a conflict that has nothing to do with him," John Schlichter tells the Post. Darden was transporting humanitarian aid to Yemen when he was taken hostage.

Yemen had been described by the Obama administration as a "model ally" until its government was overthrown by rebels last year. The Post reports the Yemen situation will show how well the president has improved hostage policies that were seen as "ineffective and insensitive to captives' relatives." For example, the government will no longer tell families they face criminal charges if they pay a ransom for their loved one. “The last thing we should ever do is add to a family’s pain with threats like that,” Obama said in June. In addition to Darden, the other American hostages are believed to be a 54-year-old Michigan man who was with Darden and a 35-year-old man teaching English in Yemen. (Read more Yemen stories.)

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