Joint Statement on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
  • 30/08/2023
    SAM |

    On the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Justice4Yemen Pact, in collaboration with various human rights organizations, issues this joint statement to denounce this blatant violation of universally recognized human rights and emphasize the need to protect the victims in Yemen. Moreover, we call on holding the perpetrators of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances accountable as it is a fundamental demand enshrined in 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These articles clearly condemn arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and any violation of human dignity and personal integrity. These articles also address violations against civilians and emphasize their right to dignity, life, liberty, equality before the law, and freedom of expression free from harassment and assault.

    Guided by our firm belief in human rights and in international agreements that strengthen justice systems and guarantee the right of victims to disclose and reveal their fate, we are not only calling to counter these serious and ongoing violations but also to restore the pillars of justice and uphold violated human rights.

    Tragically, hundreds of people have been forcibly disappeared for years, some even for more than seven years. Their families lack any information about their whereabouts. Dozens of the disappeared have endured severe torture, including death, extrajudicial executions, and even use as human shields in airstrikes in recent years. In some cases, the families only meet the dead bodies of their loved ones and are in deep shock and grief. The families of the forcibly disappeared live in uncertainty, instability, fear, anxiety, and a sense of isolation, knowing nothing about the status of their missing family members. This is especially true for their children, who have been deprived of their fathers for years. In addition, enforced disappearance leads to financial difficulties and the inability to meet basic needs, especially when the missing person is the sole income provider.

    As the Justice4Yemen Pact and the signatory organizations to this statement, we hold all responsible parties (The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Ansar Allah group (Houthi), the internationally recognized government of Yemen and the authorities loyal to it, including its security services, the UAE armed forces, and the UAE-backed armed groups, including the Southern Transitional Council and joint forces) accountable for the lives and safety of the forcibly disappeared persons.

    In this statement, we call on the United Nations and the Security Council to advocate for the immediate disclosure and safe return of the forcibly disappeared persons to their families, as well as achieving reparations and accountability for those responsible for these violations. The Justice4Yemen Pact reiterates its call on the United Nations Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to actively work to curb impunity in Yemen and end serious human rights violations. This can be achieved through the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry, supported by the Human Rights Council, responsible for identifying those responsible for these crimes and preparing for their prosecution.

    We, the organizations of the Justice4Yemen Pact, affirm that this mechanism will support efforts to prevent further violations, thereby improving the protection of civilians in Yemen. It will also prevent armed groups and militias from undermining state institutions. This mechanism is expected to deter their attempts to undermine Yemeni efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution.

    We call on the Yemeni government to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Accountability and prosecution of perpetrators of enforced disappearances should be diligently pursued.

    In addition, we call on all local and international human rights and media organizations to stand in solidarity with victims of enforced disappearance, survivors, and their families, and to advocate for their voices, support, and necessary attention. We aspire to transform the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance into a Global Day of Justice to put an end to these inhumane violations in Yemen.



    Issued by:

    Abductees’ Mothers Association (AMA)


    Al-Amal Women’s and Sociocultural Foundation (AWSF)


    Center for Strategic Studies to Support Women
    and Children (CSWC)


    Free Media Center for Investigative Journalism


    Marib Dam Foundation for Social Development (MDF)


    Musaala Organization


    SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties


    Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC)


    Watch for Human Rights


    Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations (YCMHRV)


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