ICRC says that Yemen government must grant access for families and lawyers to detainees held in Yemeni prisons, calling it a humanitarian necessity
The suffering of thousands of families who have had no contact with relatives detained in relation to the conflict in Yemen must end, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday.
“We urgently call on all sides, including states supporting parties on the ground, to ensure unconditional and immediate access to people detained in relation with the conflict,” said Dominik Stillhart, ICRC’s global Director of Operations, who completed a five-day visit to Yemen on Tuesday.
“Hundreds of families have approached us on this issue. Some of them have been without news from their loved ones for years. Enforced disappearances and allegations of ill-treatment and deteriorating conditions further add to the plight of detainees and to families’ anxiety,” Mr. Stillhart added.
Such visits are a non-negotiable humanitarian imperative, Mr. Stillhart said. They also would be an important contribution to the building of mutual trust amongst Yemeni communities.
Protest in Sanaa, Yemen (February 3, 2011) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ICRC last year visited more than 11,000 detainees in Yemen and 250 Yemeni detainees in Saudi Arabia. “However, many conflict-related detainees remain off-limits in many locations. This has to change in the best interest of all sides,” Mr. Stillhart said.
The ICRC works around the world to ensure humane conditions of detention by regularly visiting places of detention, meeting with detainees to monitor their conditions and treatment, and by bringing about improvements. It discusses its findings confidentially with the authorities concerned.
RAY HANANIA — Op-Ed writer, author, radio host, podcaster
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 at the Daily Southtown and the Chicago Sun-Times. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
Hanania is the US Special Correspondent for the Arab News Newspaper, covering Middle East and Arab American issues. He writes for the Southwest News newspaper group writing on mainstream American issues.