Local News

A father’s urgent appeal to UNICEF and Save the Children

National Yemen

The two kidnapped brothers

BY NY Staff

Khaled Ahmed Ali Al-Aubali ‘s two sons, ten and twelve years of age, have been kidnapped and are currently still being detained. Mr. Al-Aubali visited the National Yemen offices to convey his distress and disappointment at having not received official attention to his problem, and to make an appeal for help to organizations.

The father has tried several ways to secure their release, but has yet to meet with success.

Because of the state of crisis and unstable political situation in Yemen, every appeal to governmental organizations responsible for security and child welfare has failed to bring about any concrete results in efforts to have the two children released.

The kids, who are from Khawlan, have been held hostage by a tribe for a year and two months’ time as a form of retaliation against the clan of which Mr. Al-Aubali belongs. The crime of kidnapping children is not a normal or expected form of retaliation in Yemen, and is frowned upon.

Akram Numan, the lawyer handling the case, stated that Mr. Al-Aubali already contacted the Ministry of Interior and filed several papers against the kidnappers in October of 2011. Still, no action has met with success in reuniting the father with his children.

Mr. Al-Aubali urgently calls upon UNICEF and Save the Children to intervene and assist in obtaining the release of the two minors who are being detained against their will, neither able to see their family nor live their days as children.

Kidnapping of children on the rise

The Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Childhood has monitored six cases involving kidnapped Yemeni children in different governorates during the months of July, August and September. The first case concerned a five-year-old girl named Sarrah Abu-Bakr, who was kidnapped in front of her house in Ibb governorate by an individual who attempted to smuggle her into Saudi Arabia, but who was arrested in the border city of Haradh.

The organization earlier reported the kidnapping of two children – Abdullah Ali Doa’es, 12, and Naji Abdullah Ayedh, 13 – from Bani Mattar directorate in Sana’a. The two boys were kidnapped by directorate director Khaled Al-Shamage who asked for 250,000 for the release of each.  The organization also received a report stating that Houthi groups had kidnapped Mohammed Mosleh Amer, 11, during Ramadan; he was reportedly put in solitary confinement, where he suffered under difficult living conditions.

Another case involved a businessman, who issued a report to the organization stating that his son Majed, 10, had been kidnapped in Ataq governorate by gunmen. Finally, the organization received a report from Khalid Dawood from the Raima organization which stated that his daughter Dhekra, 9, had been kidnapped for unknown reasons.

The Seyaj Organization has condemned all crimes involving the kidnapping of children and demanded serious punishment for defendants. It also called on all people to follow laws and solve all their personal disputes without using children as a way to reach their goals.

The organization also called on the Interior Ministry and all security forces to arrest perpetrators and prosecute them in such a way that the problem would be eliminated.