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Saudi forces, mercenaries kidnap 17 Yemeni fishermen off Hanish Islands

Yemeni fishermen dock their boats at the port of the embattled Red Sea city of Hudaydah on June 11, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Yemen has censured the arbitrary detention and torture of more than a dozen Yemeni fishermen at the hands of Saudi military forces and Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The ministry of fish wealth, in a statement released on Friday, announced that Saudi forces detained 17 fishermen off the coast of the Hanish Islands in the Red Sea, and then investigated and tortured them, and confiscated their possessions in blatant violation of international laws that call for sparing civilians against any form of detention, torture and prejudice.

The statement added that the arbitrary detention of the fishermen continues as Saudi troops have handed them over to their mercenaries in the town of al-Khokha in Yemen's western coastal province of Hudaydah.

The ministry then appealed to the United Nations and international human rights and humanitarian organizations to intervene and release the fishermen and stop Saudi-led acts of aggression against Yemeni fishermen, which amount to war crimes and are punishable by international regulations.


Yemen’s Ministry of Fish Wealth concluded by stating that it reserves the right to file a lawsuit at international courts against the Saudi-led alliance and in defense of Yemeni fishermen.

On May 1, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported that the Saudi-led coalition had abducted more than 150 fishermen in the waters off the strategic port city of Hudaydah.

The report said at the time that the kidnapping of the fishermen on 15 boats by the "aggression forces" took place southwest of the Turfa Island.

According to a report by Yemen's Ministry of Human Rights, the Saudis have deprived over 50,000 Yemeni fishermen of their right to fish, killed dozens of them, targeted 93 fishing facilities and destroyed 4,586 boats.

Hudaydah, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the four-year Saudi aggression against the impoverished nation.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four and a half years.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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