The issue of detainees held in prisons has encouraged many women to break their silence and make a stand to defend the rights of their male family members who are victims of detention and forced disappearance. The Abductees’ Mothers Association is one of the prominent initiatives led by women which works on the ground and responds to COVID-19.
The appalling health conditions of prisons in Yemen, amid the spread of the pandemic and viral fevers, including COVID-19, and the absence of health care for prisoners, motivated the Association to take action by demanding the release of all abductees and detainees held by all conflict parties because they are more vulnerable to COVID-19, especially after the first confirmed case was recorded among the abductees in the Central Prison in Sana’a. Since the start of the pandemic, the Association has issued 14 press releases and conducted 5 protests over the response to COVID-19.
Despite the immense challenges to gather information from the security authorities, Amat Al-Salam Al-Haj, the president of the Abductees’ Mothers Association does not stop in her efforts to follow up on the detainees’ conditions or the demands to release them. Her presence on the ground is strong and is difficult to ignore.
The Association has been working tirelessly to support the detainees, with the cooperation of Women4Yemen network as part of the Group of Nine supporting the Special Envoy’s call for ceasefire amidst the outbreak of COVID-19. They have provided assistance to hundreds of detainees, many of whom suffer from chronic and serious diseases as a result of the detention facilities, insufficient and bad nutrition, unclean water and poor ventilation. The victims are also deprived of sun exposure and receive continuous ill-treatment.
Moreover, the Association conducted an aid campaign aimed at the abductees and their families from December 2019 to May 2020. The aid campaign provided 160 personal hygiene kits to the female prisoners in Sana’a prison, 19 kits containing disinfectant and vitamin C to the female prisoners in the central prison in Marib governorate, and 285 kits containing disinfectant to the families of the abductees and detainees in Sana’a and Taiz governorates. Additionally, the Association distributed soap, shampoo, disinfectants, detergents, and vitamin C to 240 abductees in three prisons in Sana’a, 50 kits to the abductees in Hajjah governorate and 150 kits to the prisoners in Taiz governorate.
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UN Women Arabic
هيئة الأمم المتحدة للمرأة اليمن – UN Women Yemen
التوافق النسوي اليمني Yemeni Women Pact
Women’s Voices of Peace أصوات السلام النسوية
مؤسسة فتيات مأرب
منصة شباب وعي
القمة النسوية – Feminist Summit
جنوبيات من أجل السلام
رابطة أمهات المختطفين – Association of Abductee’s mothers