Middle East

Over 500 civilians were kidnapped last year

Over 500 civilians in Yemen were kidnapped and forcibly disappeared last year, according to a report by the Abductees’ Mothers Association.

The association’s sixth annual report, entitled ‘Mothers at the Gates of Justice 3‘, revealed that 586 civilians were kidnapped in 2021, of that figure 422 were kidnapped by Houthi forces, including a woman and 13 children.

Militia affiliated with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) reportedly detained 109 civilians. Meanwhile, the forces fighting on behalf of the Saudi-based Yemeni government arrested 48 people, including a woman. The remaining seven people were detained by the UAE-supported National Resistance forces, who operate in the west coast.

The report also found three cases which led to deaths, including two cases inside the prisons under the administration of the Houthi-led authorities, one from a gunshot, and the other as a result of medical negligence.

READ: Calls for UN to include 4 journalists detained by Houthis in prisoner swap

Some 134 civilians were forcibly disappeared from all sides of the conflict in Yemen, of which 62 civilians were forcibly disappeared by the Houthis, 59 by the STC’s Security Belt Forces and eight by the security forces affiliated to the internationally-recognised government in the cities of Marib and Taiz. Five civilians were forcibly disappeared by the National Resistance.

The association called on all sides in the conflict, their foreign backers and the UN to work towards the abductees’ release and to reveal the fate of the forcibly disappeared. It also called for the rival authorities in the country to ensure detainees are afforded the rights guaranteed to them by the constitution and international humanitarian law.

Established in the capital Sanaa in 2016 the Abductees’ Mothers Association is a women-led civil society organisation and was formed as a result of mothers, sisters, wives and other female family members of forcibly disappeared detainees coming together to demand that their relatives be released.

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