BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – The Ansarallah Movement, also known as the Houthis, accused the Yemeni government of thwarting a new round of negotiations on prisoners that the United Nations called to hold last November in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
The head of the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee in the Ansarallah Movement, Abdul Qadir Al-Murtada, was quoted by Al-Masirah TV as saying:
“We announced that we had received an invitation from the United Nations for a round of negotiations on prisoners in Amman in order to agree on the numbers and names of the deal, but unfortunately we were surprised that the Islah party refused to attend and failed the tour. ”
He continued, “There is a detainee who we have invoked by the Islah party for not attending the negotiations, and he is being detained due to a criminal case .”
Al-Murtada criticized the performance of the United Nations by saying that it “did not exert any pressure on the other side to persuade him to attend the prisoners’ negotiations, even though the Saudi party and the party representing the southern front agreed to attend.”
The leader of the Ansarallah Movement accused the government of “thwarting 30 exchanges during 2020 that were agreed upon through local parties, according to which more than 600 prisoners of war are freed from both sides.”
He confirmed, “The liberation of 1,087 prisoners during the year 2020, including 670 prisoners during the operation through the United Nations (last October 16), and 417 prisoners through local mediators.”
The group “released 150 prisoners during the year 2020, including 64 children who were brought in by the forces of aggression (referring to the Yemeni army) in the battles, and the rest were released for humanitarian reasons.”
Al-Murtada announced his group’s refusal to “release Saudi pilots except in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Saudi Arabia (referring to Hamas detainees in Saudi Arabia, according to a previous accusation made by the group’s leader, Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, to Riyadh on March 26th).
This has been one of the demands by the Ansarallah Movement for over a year; however, the Saudi side has refused to release the Hamas detainees.