Hundreds of detainees released in Yemen

Photo by ICRC

14 Apr 2023

Hundreds of detainees released in Yemen

Nearly 900 conflict-related detainees are being released by the parties in Yemen starting today, Friday, and over the course of three days. This comes under implementation of the plan agreed by the parties at the last meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Detainees’ Exchange Agreement, which took place in Switzerland in March. The parties have committed to meet again in May to organize more releases.

The Supervisory Committee is co-chaired by the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the membership of the parties. ICRC is managing the implementation of the release operation which includes flights between six airports in Yemen and Saudi Arabia over the period of three days to repatriate the released detainees.

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, welcomed the start of the release operation and thanked the parties for their collaboration with his Office and ICRC to implement the plan agreed in March. He also thanked ICRC for their role, and for continued partnership in the Supervisory Committee.

“This release operation comes at a time of hope for Yemen as a reminder that constructive dialogue and mutual compromises are powerful tools capable of achieving great outcomes. Today, hundreds of Yemeni families get to celebrate Eid with their loved ones because the parties negotiated and reached an agreement. I hope this spirit is reflected in ongoing efforts to advance a comprehensive political solution,” Special Envoy Grundberg said, “Thousands more families are still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. I hope the parties build on the success of this operation to fulfill the commitment they made to the Yemeni people in the Stockholm Agreement to release all conflict-related detainees and bring this suffering to an end.”

Special Envoy Grundberg also urged the parties to immediately and unconditionally release all arbitrarily detained individuals and to adhere to international legal standards in regards to detention and fair trials.