Alsahwa Net- A plane carrying 109 prisoners and detainees arrived on Thursday in Sayoun Airport.
This is part of larger exchange of prisoners and detainees between the government and the Houthis rebels.
It is the biggest exchange ever sponsored by the United Nations (UN) and it is implemented by the International Committee and Red Cross (ICRC).
Government’s officials including deputy prime minister, Salem Al-Khanbashi, minister of Fishery Wealth, Fahd Kefayen, governor of Socotra, Ramzy Mahroos and commander of the first command, Saleh Tumais have lined up at the airport for welcoming the freed detainees.
The pro-Saudi Al-Arabya news television channel reported that another ICRC aircraft carrying 19 prisoners departed Sana’a to Saudi Arabia. The plane is carrying prisoners of the Saudi-led collation held by the Houthis in Sana’a.
One prisoner quoted by Al-Arabya said that he was vulnerable to assault, torture and was deprived from access to healthcare.
While some prisoners have been in captivity for only few months, others have been held captives for around three years.
Some freed prisoners said that the Houthis used them as human shields.
Family members to detainees expressed joy to the exchange.
One woman said that her relative was abducted from the street despite that he was not involved in the fighting.
For its part, the Female Relatives to Detainees Association, said that this day brought back joy to female relatives following six years of waiting for such moment.
It indicated that the Houthis abducted civilians, women as well as soldiers.
Another ICRC aircraft has also transferred several Houthis prisoners from Sayoun to Sana’a.
The ICRC in Yemen tweeted that five aircrafts were prepared for the transfer of the detainees that were agreed by parties to the conflict in Yemen for release.
Undersecretary of Information of the legitimate government said that the Thursday’s first batch of the freed detainees included five detained journalists who have been held captives by the Houthis for over five years.
The released journalists included Hesham Tarmom, Hesham Al-Yousufi, Haitham Al-Shehab, Esam Balgaith and Hasan Anab.
“This has been in the making for almost two years. Today, hundreds of detainees will be reunited with their families in Yemen,” said the ICRC Regional Director for Near and Middle East, Fabrizio Carboni.
“It is a long process that will last for days but will end with families reuniting and that is what matters,” he said.
The process might pave the way for the full release of 15,000 war detainees and prisoners which was agreed by the government and the Houthis during the signing of Stockholm agreement in late 2018.