Forum on forced abductions, torture of Yemenis held at UN

This file photo shows Yemeni coast guards. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2017
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Forum on forced abductions, torture of Yemenis held at UN

GENEVA: The Yemeni coalition for monitoring human rights violations held a forum at the UN in Geneva, on the sidelines of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, to discuss forced abductions and disappearances in Yemen.
Former Yemeni ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Al-Adoufi, discussed abductions, torture and disappearances, while former Yemeni Human Rights Minister Horia Mashour called for the immediate release of those abducted, held captive and tortured.
She said no member of society was spared the pain of abductions and disappearances, including doctors and ministers.
She urged the international community to intervene to address this issue, and to put abductions and torture at the top of its agenda for political discussions.
She also called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to support families of those missing by helping them find their loved ones.
Youssef Abu Ras, a member of the Yemeni coalition for monitoring human rights violations, spoke about torture in Yemen, saying it affects all members of society, including women and children.
Rebel militias have been torturing civilians in violation of international humanitarian law, he added, presenting the coalition’s report on incidents of torture in Yemen, which shows 813 cases of torture in 20 provinces. Five cases of torture were attributed to Al-Qaeda.
Torture results in psychological and physical injury, including loss of memory, paralysis and often death.
The families of victims are also affected, he said, adding that recommendations include adopting legislation that criminalizes torture and investigating torture cases to ensure justice.
Victims should also be compensated, he said, and rebels should be asked to immediately release all those held captive or face legal consequences. He also called on rebels to comply with international agreements adopted and upheld by Yemen.
Activist Hamdan Al-Ali also talked about the suffering of families of victims in Yemen, citing stories from the coalition’s previous reports.
He presented video clips that documented rebel attacks on families of victims during demonstrations organized to release their loved ones.
He said most of those affected are women, children and the elderly, who are facing health, physical and psychological problems and are most vulnerable.
Families’ suffering is compounded by the difficult economic situation in Yemen, where many children are forced to leave school in order to work and support their families.
Al-Ali said Houthi rebels take advantage of families’ vulnerability and eagerness to see their loved ones released by demanding ransoms of up to 5 million Yemeni riyals ($14,000).
Houthis also threaten mothers with torture of their children if they contact international or civil organizations for help.
A network of mothers of victims of kidnapping has been formed. The mothers demand the release of their sons, Al-Ali said, as it is difficult for men to do so because of attacks by Houthis.
Women are still attacked by rebel militias, which view detainees as the cause of the war and destruction in Yemen, and the country’s economic crisis.


Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

Updated 18 June 2019
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Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

JEDDAH: The Jeddah Season festival has provided a wide range of seasonal employment opportunities for young Saudi men and women, helping them gain experience and prepare them to enter the job market.

More than 5,000 young Saudis are working around the clock, each in his or her field, to manage the festival’s activities.

The festival aims to highlight development opportunities in Saudi Arabia, introduce the Kingdom as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, support the government’s efforts to empower Saudi youths, support local small and medium enterprises, develop Jeddah’s tourism sector and provide volunteer opportunities.

Jeddah Season, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, has attracted thousands of visitors of all ages through its 150 local and international events and activities.

It is being held at five sites: King Abdullah Sports City, Al-Hamra Corniche, the Jeddah Waterfront, Obhur and Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jeddah Season offers a wide range of tourism, entertainment and cultural events and activities, and sheds light on the city’s status as the Kingdom’s tourism capital. Most of its events are being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah Season is in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to advance the welfare of Saudi society, diversify local development opportunities, improve the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture, and create job opportunities for Saudi youths.