26 Jun 2011

NZ journalist detained in Yemen

6:51 am on 26 June 2011

The father of a New Zealand journalist who has been arrested by Yemen authorities and taken to a prison there understands his son has not been mistreated.

Glen Johnson, 28, has been working freelance for Western newspapers in the Middle East, and for the past five months had been based in Cairo.

His father, Mike Johnson, says he had planned to do some work in Sudan and Djibouti, and does not understand how and why he ended up being detained in Yemen.

Mr Johnson says his son speaks Arabic, has been in Yemen before and knows the culture, all of which is to his advantage.

He says he has been in contact with New Zealand staff at the embassy in Saudi Arabia and staff at the British embassy in Yemen who have been working on the case.

Political unrest in Yemen has killed at least 200 people and in one incident the country's president was gravely injured.