US Congressman Ro Khanna known as on the UAE to assist safe the discharge of a journalist detained in southern Yemen after exchanging beards on-line with the UAE ambassador to america.
Khanna’s name for the discharge of Adel al-Hasani got here after the congressman publicly declined an invite to talk on Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba’s podcast, Podbridge.
“ Given … the UAE’s involvement in protecting al-Hasani in custody, I will be unable to hitch your podcast ”
– Ro Khanna, US consultant
As a substitute, Khanna appeared on a podcast for The Intercept during which he was talking on the incredulous habits allegedly exhibited by Otaiba at a gathering final yr.
Throughout the podcast, Khanna mentioned that Otaiba was so offended with lawmakers’ efforts to finish US assist for the Yemen conflict that the ambassador yelled at him in his Capitol Hill workplace.
“I by no means had an envoy from one other nation come into my workplace and yell at me, however that is what I had with the ambassador to the United Arab Emirates,” Khanna mentioned through the interview.
“I’ve simply been taken away,” Khanna continued. “It acquired me to assume that there’s a actual vanity, an actual sense of entitlement, a sense that he believed himself to be so highly effective that he may act that means. And I’ve by no means actually seen this earlier than.
‘I by no means raised my voice as soon as’
Ambassador Otaiba responded to Khanna’s feedback in a letter indicating the official UAE Embassy Twitter account posted the Saturday.
Otaiba denied ever elevating his voice to Khanna and known as on the lawmaker to look on Podbridge for a “direct and calm dialogue”.
INTERVIEW: Ro Khanna says ending conflict in Yemen must be a precedence for Biden
“For 13 years in Washington, and even longer in public service, I raised many questions with many individuals – however I by no means raised my voice,” Otaiba mentioned within the letter. “Making my level immediately and calmly is extra my model. And that is how I keep in mind all of our conferences.”
“Let’s show that two passionate defenders can have one other direct and calm dialogue on critical points,” the ambassador continued.
“The theme and our measured dialog will converse for itself, so we do not have to,” he mentioned.
In response, Khanna appeared to take offense on the Embassy’s publication of the letter.
“@UAEEmbassyUS selected to let me know their letter,” mentioned the congressman written on twitter Monday. “So I’ll now publish my response.”
“It would not be acceptable”
In his letterKhanna mentioned he appreciated the ambassador’s invitation, however couldn’t settle for the supply whereas Hasani – the Yemeni journalist arrested 5 months in the past – remained in jail.
“For the time being, it will not be acceptable for me to look in your podcast whereas a widely known journalist is detained with the assist of your authorities – apparently due to his bridge-building work with [the] American and overseas journalists as repairers, ”Khanna wrote.
Congressman highlighted Committee to Shield Journalists (CPJ) report revealed earlier this month, which alleged that the Southern Transitional Council (STC) was unable to launch Hasani resulting from political stress from the UAE.
“Given the widespread details about the UAE’s involvement within the continued detention of Al-Hasani, I will be unable to hitch your podcast till he’s launched,” Khanna continued.
The congressman mentioned he was “gravely involved” over Hasani’s deteriorating well being and separation from his household, together with his one-month-old daughter.
“The early launch of Al-Hasani would dramatically enhance [the] The UAE’s popularity in Washington and serving to to strengthen the necessary relations of our international locations, ”Khanna mentioned.
“Upon launch of Al-Hasani, I might like to have the chance to hitch your podcast and publicly thanks for weighing in with the CTS to make sure that some of the well-known journalists overlaying the battle in Yemen is now not behind bars, “he continued.
A supply near Hasani state informed CPJ the journalist was crushed, hung from the ceiling and subjected to sleep deprivation whereas in detention.
Previous to his arrest, Hasani had lined the conflict in Yemen as a reporter and fixer with worldwide media together with the BBC, CNN and Vice.
Consultant Khanna has led congressional efforts to finish US involvement within the Yemen conflict and to reverse US assist for the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s conflict efforts within the nation since 2017 .