Yemen to deport Kiwi journalist - reports

Amnesty International said had serious concerns over Glen Johnson's safety. Photo / Supplied
Amnesty International said had serious concerns over Glen Johnson's safety. Photo / Supplied

A New Zealand journalist detained after travelling into Yemen is to be deported from the country, reports say.

Statements, reputedly from the Yemen embassy in Washington, said Glen Johnson had been caught by Yemini police in the coastal province Lahj after illegally crossing the border.

It said he would soon be transferred into the custody of immigration officials and deported.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) refused to confirm the reports.

However it said it was aware of the discussion circulating and was "comfortable" with the progress it was making with Yemen authorities on the case.

The New Zealand Embassy in Saudi Arabia was still in direct and daily contact with the Yemeni authorities regarding Mr Johnson's situation, MFAT said.

Amnesty International yesterday issued a statement saying it had serious concerns over Mr Johnson's safety.

It called for him to be immediately and unconditionally released if no charges for an internationally recognised crime were brought against him.

Yemen authorities had a "renowned record of torture" and Mr Johnson's risk of ill treatment was rising the longer he was in custody, it said.

- NZHERALD ONLINE

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