Many humanitarian crises have been results of the terrible circumstances Yemen is going through, including the suffering of hundreds of abducted and forcibly disappeared civilians all around Yemen. A lot of journalists and students, who were abducted from their homes and workplace based on their political opinions, believes, and affiliation, have been victims of abduction and forced disappearance. During their detention periods, abductees are often subjected to physical and psychological torture. Many of them have been killed by torture, health negligence, and air force bombings. Throughout all these years, human rights organizations, nationally and internationally, have failed abductees’ cause prolonging a fair resolve of their case
Up to this day, there 1649 abductees held by Houthi armed group and 34 others held by military and security organizations in Aden. There are 270 forcibly disappeared persons arrested by Houthis and 40 others arrested by military and security organizations in Aden. Violating their right to live, 71 abductees have been killed by torture, 14 have died due to health care negligence, and 210 have been killed by Arab Coalition’s bombings of prisons and detention centers.
Stockholm Agreement was signed by the end of 2018. It stated many principles like releasing all prisoners, detainees, missing persons, and arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons, held in relation to the events in Yemen, without any exceptions or conditions, for the purpose of resolving this fully and definitively. However, both parties never fully implemented the agreement. It has been stopped at the first step of submitting prisoners lists and remarks for more than a year, despite Amman Consultations.
Moreover, Houthi armed group sentenced four journalists to death, last week, in a null and void trial. Additionally, Houthis have previously tried 47 other abductees unlawfully, and sentenced 30 of them, many of whom are academics and students, to death in a single hearing.
Abductees have been repeatedly subjected to all kinds of violations including; forced disappearance, torture, beating, mistreatment, systematic healthcare negligence, horrible detention conditions, and visit preventions. Abductees’ families have suffered from violations too such as; verbal and physical assault, and extortion.
While many have thought of the prisoner exchange agreement as a resolve for abductees’ case, it is, in fact, an exile for the abductees and their families. It is a violation against their legal and humanitarian right of complete and unconditional freedom, and a threat to the freedom of civilians.
Abductees’ mothers, wives, and children have suffered for long years. Abduction has unfairly made them lose any feeling of happiness and joy they used to feel during occasions. Every morning, every abductee’s mother wish to see her long-gone son free. Sadly, many mothers pass away before seeing their wishes come true.
On this day, April 18th, Yemeni Abductee’s Day, we, at Abductees’ Mothers Association, demand Houthi armed group, military and security organizations in Aden, and the legitimate government, as our fears of a Covid-19 outbreak in prisons grow, to release all abductees unconditionally.
We call upon the UN Secretary-General to compel Houthi armed group, the legitimate government, and military and security organizations to release all abductees and arbitrarily arrested persons. We call upon the Security Council to seriously and fairly deal with perpetrators of abductions, forced disappearance, and torture. We, also, call upon the UN Special Envoy to create the necessary pressure to release all abductees, as the whole world focuses on combating Covid-19.
We would, finally, like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to whoever stood by our cause, especially women alliances and human rights organizations, and call them to generate more efforts until all abductees are free.
Issued by Abductees’ Mothers Association – April 18th, 2020