• Sanaa

  • Monday, May 27, 2024 at 8:10 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:29 AM

Red Cross Announces Release of 113 Detainees by Houthi Group in Sanaa

(AWP) - The Houthi group has unilaterally released 113 detainees in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Sunday.

In a statement, the ICRC said it helped secure the release of detainees upon the request of a committee affiliated to the Houthis, noting that the released persons were among those the ICRC used to visit regularly and provide help to in Sanaa.

The statement quoted Daphnée Maret, the Head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, as saying, “We hope this initiative will lead to more releases of detainees to bring an end to the suffering of families looking forward to being reunited with their loved ones.”

“We are ready to offer our humanitarian services to individuals detained for reasons related to the conflict in Yemen, as well as to their families and to support their release when the detention authorities agree, as we did today,” added Maret.

“We are also fully prepared to play the role of a neutral humanitarian mediator in the release of detainees and their immediate transfer as soon as the sides reach a relevant agreement,” she said.

One of the detainees, Bilal Muharram al-Jama’ie expressed his great happiness after being released and called on all sides concerned to show interest in the issue of detainees inside prisons affiliated to the Houthi group.

He said, “We ask all sides to undertake such initiatives and to show interest in the humanitarian issue, because it is not a military one – but purely humanitarian. The families of the captives are suffering and the captives themselves are suffering inside the prisons. We pray for the release of the rest of our fellow inmates.”

Another released detainee, Mohamed al-Matari, complained of the negligence detainees are suffering from inside the Houthi jails, where he spent five years and urged acceleration of similar initiatives to help secure their release.

He said, “We have spent five years in jail. We have suffered a lot from neglect. No one has spoken about us and no one has looked for us except by virtue of some initiative or clemency every one or two years through deals involving 200 or 150 detainees.”

“We are Yemenis; one people and one entity. There is no need to prolong the dossier of captives or to neglect it,” Matari added.

Since the outbreak of war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi group in 2014, Yemen has witnessed several prisoner exchanges between the two conflicting sides, brokered by the UN or through local community mediation.