The undersigned local, regional, and international organizations condemn in the strongest possible terms the unlawful detention of Saferworld Country Director Awfa Al-Naami by Houthi authorities in Sana’a, Yemen. We call for her immediate and unconditional release.
Ms. Al-Naami was detained at roughly 12:00 p.m., Monday, January 28, by the Houthi-run National Security Bureau after she had been called in for questioning.
This is not the first time Ms. Al-Naami has been interrogated. In recent months she has been subject to various threats and intimidation, as part of a larger, coordinated Houthi campaign against development and humanitarian workers in Yemen.
All sides in Yemen’s conflict should focus on achieving peace and addressing the humanitarian crisis, instead of detaining and harassing those who are working tirelessly to improve the lives of Yemenis. Ms. Al-Naami has shown unrelenting dedication and leadership in the effort to relieve suffering and lay the foundations for peace. Her arrest is unconstitutional, unconscionable and completely unjustifiable.
We call on the Houthis, and all other groups in the country, to refrain from harassing independent organizations and detaining their staff. This unjustified and unacceptable detention and abuse of human rights must end immediately.
Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic
Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies
Abductees’ Mothers Association
Peace and Building
Musaala for Human Rights
Improve Your Society Organization
Mwatana for Human Rights
Wogood for Human Security
Conscience Association for Rights and Freedoms
Rasil Foundation for Development and Media
Yemeni Dialogue Center
Youth Transparency & Building
Al-Qafela Foundation for Development
Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient – CARPO
Yemen Peace Project