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Indian Government Restricts Travel to Yemen

October 2017, 09
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The rescue effort of abducted Father Tom Uzhunnalil from Yemen was long and painful, and as a result of this, the Indian government has taken measures to restrict all types of travel of Indian nationals to Yemen. The Indian passports/travel documents at present are invalid for travel to Yemen. 

He was abducted by an unidentified group on March 4th, 2016, in a terrorist attack in Aden, and was rescued on September 28th, 2017. Subsequently, he met the Prime Minister and the Minister of External Affairs.  He had traveled to Yemen in 2015 even when there was a government advisory, against it, owing to difficult security situation there. The government issued an order saying that despite advisories, Indians continue to travel to Yemen. 

The government finds it necessary and expedient, in the interest of the public, and has issued the directions, mentioned below invalidating the passport/travel document issued by it, for undertaking any travel to Yemen. Such travel would seriously damage the carrying out of foreign affairs of the Government, and an Indian national, who violates this direction and travels, shall be liable for punitive action, and the said passport shall be impounded or revoked.

Continuing with the order, it also said that, any violation shall be liable for refusing to issue the passport for seven years, from the date of revocation. Another feature is that any Recruiting Agent /Company who sends Indian nationals to Yemen shall be responsible individually (or collectively) and all Agent /Company, and its Directors, shall be liable personally to be prosecuted under the provisions of the IPC. If any Indian national who is traveling or is sent is killed /kidnapped or receives any harm, criminal proceedings will be initiated against such owners of foreign ships carrying Indians to Yemen. Their visas for any future travel to India shall also be denied.

There is an exemption for the Indian government officials and they can travel to Yemen to attend official duties.

With an express request by the applicant, there can be some relaxation for specific/essential reasons, but the said applicant would travel at his/her personal risk. The Government of India/State Governments will not be liable for it.

Today the security situation in Yemen is fragile and armed hostilities are happening in the country making it vulnerable for such evaluation and restrictions.

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