UN urges Houthis to release its employees detained in Yemen

Sanaa: The United Nations on Wednesday called for the immediate release of two of its staff members who have been detained in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, by the Houthi rebels, since November 2021.

A joint statement by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “Although the Houthi movement repeatedly confirmed in November that the employees would be released immediately, their whereabouts are still unknown.”

UNESCO and OHCHR urged the Houthi movement to ensure the safety of the staff and to release them without further delay.

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The statement said that international law grants United Nations personnel privileges and immunity, which is essential for the optimal performance of their official duties.

Since late 2014, the Houthis have been in control of the capital, Sanaa, and other areas in the north and west of the country, while the Saudi-led military coalition controls the Yemeni airspace.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis overthrew the internationally recognized government in Sanaa. 

Yemen is witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world that has pushed millions of its people to the brink of starvation, while thousands need urgent medical treatment. However, the basic facilities are not available as the country’s infrastructure has been destroyed.

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