Yemeni detainees are being used as human shields at Houthi militia prisons, the International Association for Peace and Human Rights (IAPHR) has claimed.
The human rights group outlined two reports on the Houthi coup in Yemen and its humanitarian impact on Yemeni civilians at a seminar at the United Nations in Geneva on March 3.
Hamdan Zaid Dammaj, vice president of the IAPHR’s Yemeni Organization for Studies and Research, said there were 1,202 documented incidents of Yemeni detainees being used as human shields at 59 detention centers throughout the country.
Detention centers included schools, residential facilities and sports clubs that had been turned into military barracks by Houthi militia, he said.
Dammaj said the detainees were government supporters, including media activists, politicians from the Reform Party, as well as 130 intellectuals and 181 military personnel.
President of the World Federation of Yemeni Communities Abroad, Dr. Hiaf Ali, said the Houthi militia’s practices violated all international charters. The IAPHR is working to have militia classified as a terror group, he said.
Ali said at least 8 million Yemenis were facing famine because of the coup. More than 10 million Yemenis relied on money sent from abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia, an important support conduit to the Yemeni economy.
The Geneva-based IAPHR was established five months ago and includes human rights groups in Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden. It monitors and documents human rights violations, particularly in Yemen, and contributes to humanitarian and relief work, and the training of human rights workers.