American Center for Justice (ACJ) calls on the Yemeni government to expedite the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

While the world and the human rights community celebrates the International Day of the Disappeared, August 30, hundreds of Yemenis are still facing the crime of enforced disappearance in the prisons of the Houthi group in Sana’a, the Transitional Council in Aden and other areas under the authority of the legitimate government.

On this international occasion, we recall examples of those forcibly disappeared, led by the political and military leaders Mahmoud Al-Subaihi, Faisal Rajab, Muhammad Qahtan and Mansour Hadi, who were included in UN Security Council Resolution 2216, and they were kidnapped and forcibly disappeared six years ago in a row.

Yousif Ali Qaid al-Raymi (73 years old) has been forcibly disappeared since he was kidnapped on August 12, 2018, while he was out shopping in Madhbah north of the capital, Sana’a.

Also, Shakib Al-Khader Ali Allan has been forcibly disappeared since he was kidnapped on 10/6/2015 by the Houthi group during its invasion of the city of Aden from one of its checkpoints, and it refuses to reveal any information about him until now.

In Aden, the educationalist / Zakaria Muhammad Qasim has been forcibly disappeared since an armed group affiliated with the Aden Security Department kidnapped him on January 27, 2018 and took him to an undisclosed location and refuses to disclose to his family any information about his life and presence.

On the same level, the educational teacher / Al-Bara Ahmed Al-Jifri has been forcibly disappeared since an armed group led by Abu Al-Yamamah, affiliated with the UAE-backed security belt, bben kidnapped on June 13, 2019, and his family does not know any information about his life.

Enforced disappearance has become a systematic crime targeting Yemeni citizens and political opponents in areas controlled by the Houthi group and the Transitional Council, as well as areas under the control of the legitimate government, and is no longer restricted to a specific region of Yemen. Whereas, in the past, this phenomenon was mainly the product of military dictatorships, today enforced disappearances can occur in complex security conditions, or be used in particular as a means of political pressure on opponents.

During the process of disappearance, the victims are exposed to many violations of civil or political rights that may amount to a violation of their right to life as a number of those forcibly disappeared have died inside secret prisons in Yemen.

As a result of these violations, Yemeni women often bear the brunt of the serious psychological and socio-economic difficulties that usually accompany cases of enforced disappearance. It is the woman who is often at the forefront of the struggle to find a solution to the issue of the disappearance of members of her family. By doing so, she may be subjected to harassment, persecution and reprisals. Also, the loss of a parent through disappearance constitutes a serious violation of the human rights of a child.

According to international instruments and treaties, “enforced disappearance” is described as a crime against humanity, and is therefore not subject to the statute of limitations.

What worries us in (ACJ) is the continuation of these violations and the fact that the perpetrators remain far from the hand of justice and enable them to enjoy impunity, and this encouraged the widespread phenomenon of enforced disappearance.

The Yemeni government’s failure to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance has tempted the various parties to the conflict to practice enforced disappearance, in clear violation of international humanitarian law.

(ACJ) calls on the legitimate government to urgently sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and urges all parties to reveal the fate of the forcibly disappeared, provide information about their condition and places of detention, and enable them to have their legal rights, such as communicating with their families and lawyers, and releasing them or referring them to the judicial authorities If there is a legal justification.

ACJ also calls on the United Nations and its envoy to Yemen, Mr. Hans Grundberg, and all partners and human rights defenders around the world to fulfill their legal and moral responsibilities in order to disclose the fate of the forcibly disappeared and release them.

American Center for Justice

August 30, 2021

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