Brit dad jailed for five years abroad without trial and ‘tortured’ finally freed

A Welsh man who spent nearly five years in a Yemen jail for having a British passport has been freed and is set to reunite with his family.

Luke Symons, from Cardiff, was accused of being a spy when he was found with a British passport and was subsequently arrested at a security checkpoint in the Middle East on April 4, 2017.

Luke had travelled across the Middle East when he was 20 and met his now-wife in Yemen, with the former barber held in the capital of Sanaa for five years.

Luke's family have claimed that he was mistreated in prison and that he was tortured to make him "confess" to being a spy.

UK Government foreign secretary Liz Truss said: "Delighted that Luke Symons, who was unlawfully detained, without charge or trial since 2017 in Yemen by the Houthis, has been released and will shortly be reunited with his family.

"I pay tribute to our Omani and Saudi partners and our team for securing his release."

Truss added that during Luke's time in prison he had been allegedly "mistreated, in solitary confinement," with his family refused access to him during visits.

The Foreign Secretary added that Luke was to be flown to Muscat in Oman and will "soon be reunited with his family in the UK."

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Luke was finally reunited with his wife and son, who was only a few months old at the time of his arrest, with his wife saying she was concerned for Luke's welfare after visiting him in jail earlier this year.

Speaking in 2019, Luke's grandfather Robert Cummings said the imprisonment had "destroyed" the family and that they couldn't "sit down for a meal without mentioning Luke".

Responding to the news of Luke's release, Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan tweeted: "This is terrific news – after five years finally my constituent Luke Symons has been released from captivity.

"I have spoken to Luke's grandfather and the family are absolutely over the moon and very relieved. It hard to believe that he was 25 when he was first detained and now he is 30."

Brennan added that Luke would return home after he underwent medical tests.

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