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Amnesty International to Yemen government, Houthis: ‘end male guardianship restriction for releasing women’

January 26, 2023 at 2:10 pm

Houthis group in Yemen

Amnesty International  called, Wednesday, on the internationally-recognised government of Yemen and the Houthi group to release detained women who have completed their prison sentences, “but they do not have a male guardian to release them to”, Anadolu News Agency reported.

“Prison authorities across Yemen keep women who have completed their sentences in jail if there is no male guardian to accompany them on release, or they release them only to women’s shelters if their families refuse to receive them”, the rights watchdog said in a statement.

Conditioning the release of women from jail on the approval of a male guardian is a customary practice which has been going on long before the onset of the armed conflict in 2015, it explained.

“It is unacceptable that authorities in Yemen still view and treat women as incomplete individuals, with no agency, and who need to be accompanied by male guardians in day-to-day lives,” said Grazia Careccia, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Customary traditions must evolve, like societies do, to ensure that human rights and dignity are respected,” she added.

Until 16:15 (GMT), there was no comment from the Yemeni government or the Houthis on Amnesty International’s call.

According to the United Nations, as of the end of 2021, the Yemen war has killed 377,000 people, directly and indirectly, and caused the economy to lose $126 billion.

READ: UN needs $4.3bn to support humanitarian plan for Yemen