The Human Rights Watch has urged all warring sides in Yemen, the Houthi-Saleh fighters, the government troops and forces backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to seize the advent of the Muslim holy month of Ramanda to remedy the wrongful treatment of detainees and to free those who were arbitrarily held.
HRW said in a statement that detainees should have access to lawyers and family members, and urged warring sides to reveal the fate or whereabouts of those forcibly disappeared.
“The forces should also release children and others being needlessly held and hold to account officials responsible for mistreatment,” HRW said in the statement.
The organisation said it had documented arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances by Houthi rebels and those loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as well as the government troops and UAE-backed security forces in the southern and eastern parts of the country, including in Aden, Abyan, and Hadramawt governorates.
It said Yemeni non-governmental groups estimated that the number of people currently held by all sides was in the thousands.
HRW itself documented 65 cases in which Houthi-Saleh forces forcibly disappeared people and arbitrarily detained at the Political Security Organisation headquarters, Zain al-Abdeen mosque in Hiziyaz and the National Security Bureau in Sanaa’s Old City.