Abdulkadir al-Murteza, Head of Prisoner Affairs of the Houthis, in his written statement, argued that prisoner visits were postponed on the grounds that the Yemeni government did not comply with the agreement.
Murteza stated that the prisoner visits were “postponed to an undetermined date” because the forces affiliated with the Yemeni government “put conditions on Marib”.
Defending that “prisoner visits were prevented” due to the conditions of the Yemeni government, Murteza claimed that this situation “clearly hindered the next round of negotiations”.
Murteza called on the United Nations (UN) to “force all parties to implement the agreed issues”.
Yemen government: Houthis responsible for delaying prisoner visits
Macid Fedail, spokesman of the Prisoner and Detainees Negotiation Committee of the Yemeni government, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they hold the Houthis responsible for the postponement of the prisoner visits.
Fedail stated that the Houthi militias “acted selectively” regarding the visits of the prisoners, and noted that they prevented the visit of Mohammad Kahtan, an official of the Islah Party, who had been detained by the Houthis for about 8 years.
Emphasizing that his family should be allowed to visit Kahtan, Fedail noted that “negotiations on exchange could begin after the mutual visits of the prisoners.”
“Prisoner exchange” between the Houthis and the Yemeni government
The Yemeni government and the Houthis started prisoner exchange talks in Switzerland on March 11, under the auspices of the United Nations.
As a result of negotiations, the parties agreed on the mutual release of 887 people, including 4 journalists and well-known political, military and security officials, on 20 March.
Fedail, in his statement on April 19, noted that the prisoner exchange, which lasted for 3 days, was completed, and that approximately 900 people were released from both sides.
Murteza said that they agreed with the UN on May 15 that the prisoners from both sides would visit each other on May 20.