Yemen Continues Detention of Staff


It has now been a week since six of our staff, among 13 UN personnel, were taken by the de facto authorities from their homes in the Yemeni cities of Sanaa, Hudaydah and Hajjah. Two of them are women. A number of other people working for national and international NGOs and other organisations supporting humanitarian activities have also been detained.

Since their detention on 6 June, the six UN Human Rights Office staff members have not had contact with their families, nor has the UN been able to access them or to receive individual confirmation of their detention. A reminder that two other UN human rights colleagues and two UNESCO staff were already being held incommunicado prior to the latest detentions. Dozens of other individuals have similarly been detained outside of any legal protection in recent days.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk remains deeply worried about the conditions in which they are being held, and demands their immediate and unconditional release. He stresses that the public broadcasting on 10 and 12 June of statements procured under circumstances of inherent duress from our colleague, detained incommunicado, and others detained since 2021 is totally unacceptable, and itself violates their human rights.

Targeting of human rights and humanitarian workers must cease immediately, and efforts should instead be stepped up to serve the needs of the 18.2 million people in Yemen who are currently in need of humanitarian aid and protection - needs that our detained colleagues were delivering on.

This Eid Al-Adha will be particularly difficult for the families of those detained, and for many others who now live in fear of being themselves detained. Again, the High Commissioner urges their immediate, unconditional release.

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