Yemen: Health Concerns For Detained British National

Luke Symons, © Private
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All parties to the conflict, including Huthi forces, the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-led coalition and UAE-backed Yemeni forces have carried out arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, harassment, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trials.

In areas they control, Huthi forces arbitrarily arrested and detained critics and opponents as well as journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community, subjecting scores to unfair trials, incommunicado detention and enforced disappearance. The majority of those targeted have been members or supporters of the political party, al-Islah.

In May 2021, Amnesty International published a report, ‘Released and Exiled: Torture, unfair trials and forcible exile of Yemenis under Huthi rule’- an in-depth investigation into the experiences of a minority of non-fighters, including journalists, political opponents and Baha’i religious minority members, who were released as part of political deals in 2020 after being unlawfully detained and tortured for up to seven years. Upon their release, the Baha’is were forced into exile, with the United Nations (UN) facilitating their departure; eight other detainees were banished to other parts of the country.

Conditions in Huthi-run prisons and detention centres, including mass overcrowding of detention cells, inadequate access to health care, sufficient food, clean water and sanitation, caused Covid-19 to spread, exposing detainees to substantial health risks. All parties failed to take measures to protect detainees and curb the spread of the virus in prisons and detention centers through the provision of masks or other hygiene products.

The internationally recognized Yemeni government has also harassed, threatened and arbitrarily detained human rights defenders and other activists. Meanwhile, UAE-backed Yemeni forces in southern Yemen conducted a campaign of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. In May 2018, Amnesty International detailed the cases of 51 men held in a network of secret prisons by UAE and Yemeni forces operating outside the command of Yemen’s government, including individuals detained between March 2016 and May 2018.
 

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