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The case of Sharif Mobley

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – Following calls from Sharif Mobley’s attorney (the disappeared US national who faces murder charges in Yemen) Cori Crider, that proof of life be given after her client was disappeared, US diplomats in Yemen have said to have made contact.

No confirmation was however given on Mobley’s whereabouts or the reasons for his transfer out of Yemen’s penitentiary system.

Crider who has been campaigning for her client stressing that his most basic rights have been violated in the most brutal manner, has said to be outraged before US officials’ refusal to confirm her client’s location.

Speaking to the Guardian, Crider says she suspects the US, “sent interrogators to interview Mobley shortly after he was detained.” She stressed that she believes Washington to be complicit in his abduction.

A US citizen born in New Jersey in 1984, Mobley travelled to Yemen in 2008 with his wife and young daughter. He was arrested in late 2009 after the Yemeni authorities identified him as a potential terror threat. In 2010 Mobley killed a guard as he attempted to escape while receiving treatment at hospital. Since then he has been awaiting trial on murder charges.

Mobley was last seen on February 27th.

Since his disappearance the Yemeni government has failed not only to produce him at three trial hearings, but to tell his lawyers and family where he is. His lawyers have called for all charges against Mr Mobley to be dismissed on the basis of the repeated ‘outrageous state conduct’ by the US and Yemeni authorities throughout his case.

Following months of silence, the US Embassy emailed Crider noting, “The Yemeni authorities recently did make it possible for us to meet with him. For security reasons we cannot disclose the location … Mr Mobley appeared to be in good health with no major complaints. He said we could tell everyone he is fine.”

William Lesh the US official in charge of contacting Mobley’s legal team added that the latter has asked for the embassy to contact his attorneys.

Back in June, a Yemeni judge, Abdelwali al-Shaabani ordered Yemen’s attorney general, Ali Alwash to ensure that Mobley will be present at his scheduled court hearing on August 20.

Unhappy with the way her client has been treated since 2009, when Mobley was first abducted by Yemen intelligence services, Crider who works for Reprieve, an NGO based in the UK, has called for the immediate release for her client.

She said, “It’s very worrying that the US government knows where its disappeared citizen is and flatly refuses to tell his family or his lawyers …They won’t even state which government agency holds him. It’s hard not to conclude US officials are mixed up in this detention, just as they were involved in Mr Mobley’s first disappearance.”


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