A mothers’ group in Yemen has accused the Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh of abducting thousands of their children. “The year 2016 has passed but bitterness and pain continue,” said the Mothers of Kidnapped People Association. “A year has passed as thousands of our children are still kidnapped and hidden in Houthi and Saleh prisons.”
The group’s press release claimed that hundreds of the kidnap victims are being subjected to the worst kinds of torture, including starvation. According to the association, as many as 72 people were killed while being tortured in Yemen last year, including six in December alone.
“This issue is a secondary matter for all political negotiations,” the association’s statement pointed out. “The crimes have not been condemned by international or local organisations or human rights groups. No deterrent has been imposed to prevent kidnappings, which encourages those responsible to continue to kidnap, torture and even kill innocent people.”
The statement called for the release of all kidnap victims. It also called on the international community and the UN to prosecute all those responsible for the crimes.