Yemen Releases Hundreds of Prisoners in Sanaa

Detainees were overwhelmingly Yemeni nationals

According to the Red Cross, Yemen’s Houthi movement has unilaterally released hundreds of detainees in the capital city of Sanaa. The indications are that the overwhelming majority are Yemeni nationals, with a Red Cross statement saying three were Saudis.

The Red Cross said 290 detainees were processed by them, while the Houthis statement said 350 were released in total. The UN praised the move as a positive step toward a potential prisoner swap.

Among those released were also 42 survivors of the Dhamar Prison disaster. The Saudis launched an airstrike against the prison earlier this month, killing 130 people, mostly pro-Saudi fighters. The survivors appear to have all been released now.

The UN expressed hope for this being a very positive sign, but the Houthis may just have needed to make room for new detainees, with reports that an operation over the weekend ended with thousands of Saudis captured.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of