Yemen Minister: Houthi militia raid WFP warehouse, kidnap 2 UN staff members

Yemenis distribute sacks of food aid to be given to displaced people who fled battles in the Red Sea province of Hodeida and are now living in camps in the northern district of Abs, under control by the Iranian-backed Houthi in Hajjah province, on June 24, 2018. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 29 June 2018

Yemen Minister: Houthi militia raid WFP warehouse, kidnap 2 UN staff members

DUBAI: Yemen’s Local Administration Minister and Higher Relief Council Director, Abdul Raqib Fatah condemned the storming of the World Food Program (WFP) warehouse in Hodeidah and the kidnapping of two UN staff members by Houthi militias.

The WFP is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and over the past three years in the war-torn country, the humanitarian organization has assisted over seven million people in need.

In a press statement to Saba news agency, Fatah denounced the Houthi’s continued aggression towards international humanitarian organizations working on the field in Yemen.

Fatah called the attack a war crime and a violation of international and humanitarian law.

He called on the international community and aid groups to condemn this “terrorist act” and take all necessary measures to deter the militants from meddling in relief efforts.

“The targeting of relief organizations in the province of Hodeidah by the militias and their control of the port to hijack and detain relief vessels increases the suffering of the Yemeni people as a whole,” Fatah said.

Arab News contacted WFP for a comment, however no official statements have been given.


UK summons Iran envoy as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces return to jail

Updated 30 October 2020

UK summons Iran envoy as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces return to jail

  • Husband Richard Ratcliffe: Iran has ordered Nazanin to report to court for a new trial on Monday and then back to jail
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: Britain has made it clear to Iran “that is entirely unjustified and totally unacceptable and must not happen”

LONDON: Britain on Friday warned Iran against throwing detained woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe back in jail, after hauling in Tehran’s envoy for a dressing-down over her emotive case.
The Foreign Office summoned Ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad on Thursday to hear renewed demands from a senior official for an end to the British-Iranian captive’s “arbitrary detention.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC radio Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in a “horrific position,” after her husband said Iran has ordered her to report to court for a new trial on Monday and then back to jail.
Britain has made it clear to Iran “that is entirely unjustified and totally unacceptable and must not happen,” Raab said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who will turn 42 on Boxing Day, has been on temporary release from Tehran’s Evin prison and under house arrest since earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She has spent more than four years in jail, or under house arrest, since being detained in the Iranian capital in April 2016 while visiting relatives with her young daughter.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — denied charges of sedition but was convicted and jailed for five years.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has spent more than four years in jail, or under house arrest, since being detained in the Iranian capital in April 2016. (AFP)

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said this week that the Foreign Office’s handling of the case “seems disastrous,” and that “the UK is dancing to Iran’s tune.”
Raab told the BBC: “We’ve made it very clear we want to try to put the relationship between the UK and Iran on a better footing.
“If Nazanin is returned to prison, that will of course put our discussions and the basis of those discussions in a totally different place. It is entirely unacceptable.”
Richard Ratcliffe linked the latest development to the postponement of a hearing that was due to take place on Tuesday in London to address Iran’s longstanding demand for the repayment by Britain of hundreds of millions from an old military equipment order.
“As Nazanin’s husband, I do think that if she’s not home for Christmas, there’s every chance this could run for years,” he said, accusing Iran of “hostage diplomacy.”