Prisoners of War: Crimes and Violations Unveiled
The Ministry of Human Rights organized a consultative meeting on Tuesday to discuss its report titled “Prisoners of War: Crimes and Violations.”
During the meeting, Sultan Al-Samai, a member of the Supreme Political Council, congratulated the heroes who were released from enemy prisons and returned safely to Yemen. The gathering was attended by the recently released woman prisoner, Samira Maresh, from a Marib prison.
Al-Samai indicated that over the past three days, hundreds of prisoners had been freed, and others had been handed over to the other side. He noted that upon receiving prisoners coming from Khamis Mushait, many of them were found to be disabled, appearing as if they had emerged from dark dungeons where they had never seen sunlight. He added that there was a noticeable difference between prisoners coming from various locations and those coming from Yemen’s primary enemy, Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, he emphasized that the violations these prisoners faced were contrary to Islamic principles, genuine Arab customs and traditions, and human values. Al-Samai explained that the prisoners returning from Sanaa were treated with honor, humanity, and in accordance with Islamic morals and authentic Yemeni customs and traditions.
Al-Samai quoted Major General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi upon his arrival in Aden as saying: “We were truly guests of Sayyid Abdulmalik Al-Houthi. We lived in respectable conditions and were provided with the best nutrition, a television, open channels, and telephones to communicate with our families. This was due to the good treatment received by prisoners in Sanaa.”
He expressed regret for the inhumane treatment of prisoners returning to Sanaa from Saudi Arabia and other locations. Al-Samai also noted that many abductees, detainees, and prisoners held by Saudi forces and mercenaries had been subjected to torture, with some even killed brutally.
Al-Samai commended the Ministry of Human Rights for its role in achieving justice and documenting these crimes for the public and the world, despite its limited resources. He expressed appreciation for Yemeni women’s resilience and national role, especially that of Samira Maresh, who was abducted and tortured for five years in Marib on baseless charges.
Al-Samai also addressed the arrival of 104 expatriate detainees and workers in Saudi Arabia, who were used by Saudi authorities for media purposes. These individuals were not prisoners, but workers who had been arbitrarily arrested on false charges and unjustly deported.
Mahmoud Al-Junaid, Deputy Prime Minister for National Vision Affairs, emphasized the importance of the Ministry of Human Rights’ report “Prisoners of War: Crimes and Violations.” He highlighted the principles and rights that prisoners should enjoy, which should encourage all parties to adhere to them according to religious faith and affiliation.
Al-Junaid expressed pride in the values practiced by the authorities responsible for prisoners, stating, “The whole world knows that we are more committed to the principles and values related to prisoners, which are at the core of our Islamic faith.”
He elaborated on the rights prisoners should enjoy, including humane treatment, respect for personal dignity, healthcare, education, recreational activities, sports, shelter, food, clothing, and other basic rights. Al-Junaid stressed that the other side acts contrary to these rights and principles, referring to the brutal treatment experienced by the released prisoner, Samira Maresh.
In a compelling statement, the Minister of Human Rights, Ali Hussein Al-Dailami, clarified that the draft report on the prisoners’ file addressed the specific rights of prisoners that are being violated, with the United Nations and international organizations neglecting their rights. He emphasized that ignoring prisoners’ rights has serious negative repercussions, leading the opposing party to commit the most heinous crimes, believing they are immune from accountability and questioning.
Minister Al-Dailami highlighted that, as a result of the United Nations and its various agencies and organizations, as well as international organizations, failing to fulfill their roles and responsibilities towards prisoners, the enemy and its mercenaries have become emboldened, committing the most appalling crimes of torture and murder against prisoners and detainees. These horrific acts are documented in audio and visual formats and displayed without fear, in a clear defiance of international agreements and treaties.
He touched on the procedures and complications taken by the Red Cross concerning prisoners, which act as a constraint on their work. He added, “It’s high time for many organizations to incorporate provisions that guarantee effective protection for prisoners, civilians, and rights in general.” He emphasized that the statutes of the Red Cross, the High Commissioner, and many UN agencies require thorough review to ensure the fulfillment of their obligations and the protection of rights.
The Minister of Human Rights considered international mechanisms to be ineffective, not being enforced in reality, and the role of international organizations has been reduced to that of mediators. Their true role should be to stop violations and crimes against prisoners, civilians, and to act within the correct framework by implementing international agreements and treaties.
He called on the Red Cross and the High Commissioner to simplify the complications in registering cases or complaints received from the ministry and to find a suitable mechanism for doing so. He also mentioned that the Ministry of Human Rights had organized visits to the locations of prisoners in Sanaa and observed humane and ethical treatment towards the prisoners.
Aref Al-Amiri, the Head of the Executive Unit for the National Vision at the Ministry of Human Rights, explained that the unit has issued national and specialized reports, including the prisoners’ report, which coincided with the release of prisoners from enemy prisons, to expose the brutal crimes and inhumane treatment they experienced.
The report team documented these crimes with the aim of holding the perpetrators accountable, as they violate international treaties that protect prisoners’ rights, amidst international indifference to such rights. The goal is to hold the aggressor coalition and the mercenaries responsible for any threats to the lives and safety of the prisoners still in prison.
Al-Amiri pointed out that the report included those who were abducted due to travel, title, or sect, and were subjected to torture, humiliation, and harsh treatment.
The released prisoner, Samira Maresh, recounted the implications of her abduction and the arbitrary nature of her arrest, emphasizing that the charges they tried to fabricate against her were false and baseless. She spoke about the torture methods she endured over five years, even being prevented from contacting her family. She expressed her gratitude for the attention and efforts of Revolutionary Leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi in rescuing her from the darkness of Marib prisons, and her appreciation for the Yemeni people who welcomed her, lifted her spirits, and helped her forget years of torture and persecution in the hands of mercenaries.