Prisoners Exchange: Exile, Displacement, and Tragedy of Freed Abductees

Around Houthi-controlled areas, Houthi armed group continues abducting civilians accusing them of opposition and detaining them for more than two years. During incarceration, abductees are often brutally tortured and forcibly hidden. Abductees’ families are usually extorted financially and emotionally. After all that, Houthi armed group initiates unfair negotiations where those civilian abductees are exchanged for Houthi war prisoners.

Abductees’ Mothers Association recorded 189 cases of exchanging a civilian abductee for a war prisoner within only last year. After this exchange, former abductees start a new chapter of suffering in the form of displacement and exile where they live within legitimately governed areas or overseas. Despite being unlawfully detained by Houthi armed group for as long as three years, former abductees painfully experience a life in exile, away from their families, friends, and jobs causing a serious deterioration in both financial and psychological conditions. Yet, the suffering terribly worsens as families are prohibited by Houthis from visiting their relatives in exile.