Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The Houthis in Yemen have released more than a hundred prisoners

By Vaseline May26,2024
The Houthis in Yemen have released more than a hundred prisoners

By Mohammed Ghobari

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s Houthi group released more than 100 prisoners in Sanaa on Sunday, calling the move a “unilateral humanitarian initiative” to pardon prisoners and return them to their families.

“Most of them are humanitarian cases, including the sick, injured and elderly,” said Abdul Qader Al-Murtada, head of the Houthi-led Prisoners Affairs Committee, who announced the release and said the prisoners were government soldiers who had been captured . at the front.

But Yemen’s internationally recognized government said the prisoners were not soldiers but civilians the Houthis had kidnapped from homes, mosques and workplaces.

“Releasing these victims under any name does not absolve (the Houthis) of this crime,” Majed Fadail, deputy minister for human rights in Yemen’s internationally recognized government, wrote in a post on social media platform X.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed on Sunday the unilateral release of 113 “conflict-related” prisoners, saying in a statement that it was helping prisoners ensure their release was humane and dignified.

“I feel completely at ease, as if I were born again today. Because we were desperate and thought we would never get out,” said Murshed Al Jamaai, a prisoner released on Sunday.

Yemen has been embroiled in conflict since the Houthis ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in late 2014. The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 with the aim of restoring the government.

The outlines of a proposed Yemeni UN roadmap for peace were agreed last December, but progress towards peace stalled as the Houthis stepped up attacks on ships in and around the Red Sea and said they were acting in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza War.

The campaign has disrupted global trade, stoked fears of inflation and heightened concerns that the fallout from the war between Israel and Hamas could destabilize parts of the Middle East.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari in Sanaa; Writing by Andrew Mills; Additional reporting by Tala Ramadan, Abdulrhman Al-Ansi and Adel Al Khader; Editing by Toby Chopra and David Evans)

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