UN Bodies Call on Yemen’s Houthis To Release Two Staff Members

The Houthis movement in Yemen has detained two staff members of UNESCO and UN Human Rights since early November, the UN bodies said in a joint statement on Wednesday, calling for their immediate release.

The Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said they are deeply concerned for the well-being of two of their staff members, the statement added.

“The UN has not received information about the grounds or legal basis for their detention, or their current status, despite earlier assurances by the Ansar Allah movement (who are also called Houthis) of their immediate release,” the statement added.

“OHCHR and UNESCO recall the privileges and immunities accorded to staff of the UN system under international law, which are essential to the proper discharge of their official functions, and call for the staff members’ immediate release without any further delays,” the statement added.

The United States said in November that the Houthis in North Yemen, had detained several Yemeni employees at the US embassy compound in the capital, Sanaa, without disclosing how many.

The US embassy has been closed since 2015 after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognized government from Sanaa in late 2014.

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