Yemeni Human Rights Minister Dr. Mohammed Askar confirmed Monday that more than 800 Yemeni children and women were being detained by the Iran-backed Houthi militias.
“The Houthis are forcefully arresting and kidnapping people, including activists, journalists and lawyers, in areas under their control,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The militias resort to targeting civilians and terrorizing women and children through such arrests and abductions in order to cover for their losses on the battlefronts, he added.
“With such acts, the Houthis are trying to raise the morale of their forces that have collapsed due to the defeats they are being dealt on several fronts,” the minister said.
These acts are crimes against humanity and violations of International Humanitarian Law, he explained.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Ministry stressed Monday the importance of immediately releasing the first batch of prisoners and detainees as part of the agreement reached between the legitimate government and Houthis during UN-sponsored talks in Switzerland.
Last Sunday, the UN mission in Yemen said the legitimate government and the Houthis agreed “to immediately release a first group of 1,081 conflict-related detainees and prisoners, in accordance with the lists of agreed-upon names.”
The deal came at the conclusion of a week-long meeting in Glion, Switzerland that was co-chaired by the office of the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.