The seventh Ramadan is here while our abducted, detained, and forcibly disappeared sons are still held behind bars. Our living conditions have worsened and our tears cannot be stopped for any joy is not felt without our sons’ presence.
Currently, there are 633 abducted civilians held by Houthi armed group, 155 of whom are forcibly disappeared. In Aden, there are 39 abducted civilians held at Be’er Ahmed Prison and 38 forcibly disappeared held at secret detention centres run by Security Belt forces. While the government holds 23 detained civilians, 2 of whom are forcibly disappeared, West Coast Forces hold 11 abducted civilians.
As international reports repeatedly warn of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yemen, and local reports monitoring the rise of death cases by the virus, we live in constant fear for our sons’ lives. By hearing the statements of for five years, it was concluded that detention conditions are absolutely horrible, as prisons are often packed and badly-ventilated, and abductees are deprived from sunlight exposure, clean water, and medications, and subjected to starvation. The association has documented the cases of sick abductees as follows; 131 abducted civilians held by Houthi armed group, 9 abducted civilians held by Security Belt forces in Aden, 2 detained civilians held the government, and 1 abducted civilian held by West Coast Forces.
The authorities responsible for abductions and detentions usually subject abductees to systematic deprivation of medical care as a method of torture and punishment, thus, letting sick abductees carelessly die. The association has monitored the death of 17 abductees and detainees as a result of medical care deprivation. The abductee Abdu Saleh did not suffer from any physiological conditions. However, two years after his abduction, he started complaining of constant pain in his chest and back. He repeatedly asked to be hospitalized and treated, but his request was denied by the prison wardens at Alsaleh Prison. Eventually, some officers took him out for treatment, but once they stepped out to the yard, the warden saw them and shouted “Take that one back to prison!”. His health critically deteriorated, and the pain severely worsened. He was unable to sleep anymore, and other abductees could hear his painful cries. He died by the middle of 2020.
In addition to all the risks and dangers, our agonies get worse with the intransigence of Yemeni parties and detaining authorities to release abducted civilians, and continuing to force many of them into disappearance. Consequently, such actions have led to the derailment and failure of all negotiations regarding the case of abductees and arbitrarily detained persons.
Moreover, they have arrogantly continued political and military bargains with no regards to national and international laws and civil rights, and no consideration to the suffering of the victims and their families who miss on their life opportunities daily.
As we start the month of Ramadan, which Yemeni
consider it a month of giving and forgiving, we, at Abductees’ Mothers Association, extend our call to all Yemeni parties to unconditionally release our abducted sons. We remind them that abductees name lists and their detention places have been kept in their offices since they declared their willingness to release all abductees. We urge them to fulfil their promises and immediately release them all.
We call upon the United Nations and its Special Envoy, and peace-fostering countries to step up the pressure, especially with the outbreak of COVID-19, upon detaining authorities, namely Houthi armed group, Security Belt forces, the government, and West Coast Forces, to release all abducted, arbitrarily detained, and forcibly disappeared civilians.
We, also, call upon Yemeni influential persons, local mediators, and the whole society to take this blessed month as a chance to work hard in order to save their abducted and forcibly disappeared relatives, friends, and countrymates, and reunite them with their families.
Issued by Abductees’ Mothers Association.
April 13th, 2020.