Yemen: Rights Radar calls on the UN to put an end to the suffering of the IDPs of Hodeidah

July 2, 2018:

The Netherlands-based foundation for human rights in the Arab world, Rights Radar (RR), called on the international community to urgently intervene to save the lives of more than three million and 600 thousand people who are living in Hodeidah province, west Yemen, which witnessed an armed conflict.

RR called on the United Nations to urgently intervene to protect civilians in areas where armed clashes took place in the province of Hodeidah during the past 2 weeks, where the civilians paid the price from their lives and stability of living and psychological.

The southern areas of the city of Hodeidah, has witnessed a massive human bleeding, as well as worsening humanitarian situation of residents of that areas and neighborhoods situated in the clashes frontline between the government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition forces and Houthi rebel militants. The severely affected areas including the neighborhoods of Manzar and Alrabasa, and the districts of Hays, Tahhayta, Deraihemi and other areas.

RR monitors in Hodeidah reported that more than 5,600 families from Hodeidah province were internally displaced between June 15 and 30, some of them displaced into Sana’a city and provinces around Hodeidah, while others went to the provinces of Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Hadramout and Mahra.

“Hundreds of families have not found adequate shelter in the areas of displacement, no help has been found to meet their needs, and dozens of families are still squatting under trees of the farms or on the grounds of the schools where they have been housed” they added.

For instance, more than 85 families arrived within two days to two schools in Dar Sa’ad district of Aden province. Some displaced families were subjected to severe harassment in Sana’a, and many displaced people were unable to afford the cost of housing and living expenses.

RR monitored a case of armed attack by gunmen of Houthi rebels on the inmates of the central prison in the city of Hodeidah, at 10 o’clock on Wednesday evening, June 27, where an armed vehicle, accompanied by two medium-sized cargo vehicles, stormed the central prison courtyard and attempted to forcibly transfer prisoners to unknown locations. When the prisoners rejected orders for fear of being transferred to the Houthi fighting fronts, they were physically assaulted and this developed into live ammunition, killing two prisoners; one of them is above 70 years old, while more than 20 others were injured either by beating or tear gas.

Sources from inside the Hodeidah central prison said to RR that Houthi gunmen isolated some prisoners after this incident occurred and practiced severe torture against them on charges of rebellion, while the fate of some prisoners remains unidentified. Dozens of prisoners have been forcibly transferred to unknown locations where they are feared to be used as human shields or to be transferred to the Houthi fighting fronts.

RR received a statement from families of the inmates of the central prison in Hodeidah appealing to human rights organizations and the international community to protect the lives of their imprisoned relatives, from which they described as persecution inside the Houthi prisons. They revealed that the day after the prison incident, they were prevented from bringing medicine and food to some inmates and that is threatening their lives.

Residents of Alrabasa neighborhood, just next to Hodeidah Airport on the north, complained that Houthi militia had expelled some residents from their houses to occupy them by Houthi militants who stay indoors, and some residents of Ghulail neighborhood said that the Houthi militants had set up a heavy gun in their neighborhood, putting them at risk.

On Tuesday, June 26, six civilians were killed and eight others wounded by Saudi-led coalition air raids targeted a bus transporting displaced persons in Matea area, north of the town of Al-Jarrahi, 120 km south of Hodeidah city.

On Wednesday, June 27, at least 7 civilians from al-Ja’abali neighborhood, next to the fence of Hodeidah airport, were killed by a mortar shell fired by the Houthi militants.

RR called on the international community and the United Nations in particular to put an end to the suffering of the IDPs of Hodiedah province and to play their responsible role towards protecting civilians in Hodeidah, as a moral obligation under the principles of the United Nations, towards the residents of the armed conflict areas.

It also called for an investigation into the armed attack on the inmates of the central prison of Hodeidah and to protect the prisoners from any threat and danger that might affect their lives.

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