• Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 12:47 PM
    Last Update : Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 5:30 AM

Eid Joy in Yemen Marred by Faltering Government Prisoner Exchange Initiative with Houthis

(AWP) - Abdul Malik Mohammed Abdullah’s two children embrace his picture, eagerly longing for their father who has been in Houthi prisons for five years, following news of a possible prisoner exchange initiative between the Yemeni legitimate government and the militant group controlling the capital, Sanaa.

But hopes of reuniting with him are fading away with a few hours left until the sunrise of the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr.

His wife stresses that after all these years, she still does not know the reason behind what she describes as his abduction.

She tells AWP in their family home in the city of Taiz, “My husband was abducted from al-Hawban checkpoint five years ago by the Houthi militias. He did nothing and we are waiting for his return. The blessed Eid Al-Fitr comes, but his children are living in pain and sadness. They await his release in a prisoner exchange initiative and we are waiting for him so that our joy will be complete.”

Abdullah is one of hundreds of Yemenis imprisoned by the Houthi group.

Amat al-Salam al-Hajj, President of the Abductees’ Mothers Association in Taiz says that four men have died in Houthi prisons during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

She added, “The tragedy is great, especially since we have now lost four of the abductees in prisons during the month of Ramadan. We launched these appeals, and the Yemeni government responded by launching this initiative to release everyone and have a comprehensive strategy to empty the prisons of the abducted, the missing, and the prisoners.”

Yemeni authorities say that Houthis have not yet responded to the prisoner exchange initiative.