Governor of Yemen’s Hadramout region Major General Faraj Salmeen al-Bahsani stressed that the area does not house any secret prisons operated by the coalition for restoring legitimacy in Yemen.
He told Asharq Al-Awsat that rights organizations had inspected the central jail in Hadramout, praising the fact that the rights of the inmates are being preserved and respected.
He explained that progress in the judicial file has only been possible to achieve after the liberation of the city of Mukalla from the clutches of al-Qaeda in 2017.
“We acknowledge our shortcomings in this file, but since the liberation, we immediately started working on re-operating courts and prosecutions,” Bahsani added.
“This can be added to our efforts to equip the central prison with all of its needs,” he continued.
The rights groups have attested to these efforts and hailed the authorities for providing the inmates with proper food and living quarters and fair treatment.
This praise therefore shuts downs claims that the Arab Coalition was operating secret prisons in Hadramout, stated the governor.
“We are cooperating with the Coalition in a clear and transparent manner and such allegations are aimed at undermining Hadramout, its security and stability before the public, which had originally hailed it for its war against terrorism and its unique experience in swiftly liberating Mukalla,” he stressed.
The liberation has allowed life to return to normal in the city and development efforts have been restarted, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
To that end, Bahsani announced that “2018 will be the year of development and enabling the youth.”
“We have started to draw up plans for this,” he explained. Projects focused on these two issues will be inaugurated later this year. They will be financed through Hadramout revenues and the Arab Coalition.
He revealed a fund to support youth will be unveiled within days. It will be aimed at preserving the youth’s place in society.
Moreover, he said that various Arab figures and companies had pledged to invest in Hadramout, which will create diverse job opportunities and empower the youth.
He also promised to reopen the local airport in the first six months of 2018 “at the latest” after receiving the approval of the Coalition.
Commenting on combating corruption, Bahsani said: “This is a big thorny file that needs great efforts to track down the perpetrators and reform them.”
The concerned anti-corruption and audit bureau has been tasked to crack down on offenders and “we will strike with an iron fist anyone who is convicted of fraud,” he vowed.
“We will not show mercy to anyone,” he added. “Indeed, we detected corruption in government institutions and have detained directors there and referred them to the judiciary and financial public prosecution. They will be held accountable.”
“These measures will without a doubt deter anyone who deigns to continue in his corrupt ways,” he stressed.