UN ‘deeply worried' over detention of staff in Yemen

Since June 6 detention, 6 Human Rights Office staff had no contact with families or UN, says official

15:23 - 14/06/2024 Friday
File photo
File photo

The United Nations Human Rights Office said Friday it is deeply worried about the conditions in which six of its staff, among 13 UN personnel, are being held by “de facto” authorities in three of Yemen's cities.

“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,” UN Human Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Liz Throssell said.

“Two of them are women. A number of other people working for national and international NGOs and other organizations supporting humanitarian activities have also been detained.”

Throssell said that since their detention on June 6, 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 before the latest detentions,” said the UN spokesperson.”

The UN office reported that dozens of other individuals have similarly been detained without legal protection in recent days.

“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk remains deeply worried about the conditions in which they are being held, and demands their immediate and unconditional release,” said Throssell.

“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,” said the spokesperson.

The UN rights office said that 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.

Yemen's population currently needs humanitarian aid and protection, “needs that our detained colleagues were delivering on.”

Throssell said that the Muslim holy period of Eid al-Adha will be challenging for the families of those detained and for many others who now live in fear of being detained.

#Detained UN personnel
#Liz Throssell
#UN Human Rights chief
#Volker Turk
1 month ago