On Monday, the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts in Yemen expressed its deep concern about the potential risks of an outbreak of “Corona” virus among political prisoners and detainees in Yemen.
Calls for the release of prisoners:
The Group, an international committee concerned with monitoring and documenting human rights violations, called on all parties to the conflict to immediately release all detainees and political prisoners held in official and secret political, security, and military detention facilities, to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus, “in line with their obligations under international law,” according to statement.
Houthi forces have controlled provinces including the capital, Sanaa, since 2014.
Warning of corona outbreaks:
In a statement, the Group warned that the precarious situation of prisoners and detainees puts them at great risk if the virus spreads because of “appalling detention conditions”.
He stressed that the ongoing conflict in Yemen has severely affected the availability of medical services and made the health system “on the verge of collapse.”
Yemen suffers from the aftermath of a six-year war between pro-government forces and Houthi militants.
As of Monday evening, Yemen had not recorded any infection with the virus, which infected more than 776,000 people in 199 countries and territories, of whom more than 37,000 had died, while more than 164,000 had recovered.
On Monday, the government decided to extend the closure of land, sea and air outlets for a period of two weeks, starting from April 1, according to the official Saba news agency.
The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Najeeb Al-Awaj, said that the ministries of planning and health had finished discussing the intervention project to support measures to tackle the virus, with both the World Health Organization and the World Bank, and would include rehabilitation of the health sector for all regions of Yemen.
On Monday, the Public Prosecution in Ma’rib Governorate (east) released 62 prisoners on non-serious cases as part of precautionary measures to confront the virus. This is the fourth release of prisoners in government-controlled areas, within a week.