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Yemen begins 3-day release of nearly 900 prisoners: UN

The UN on Friday said that Yemen is releasing nearly 900 detainees over the course of three days.

“This comes under implementation of the plan agreed by the parties at the last meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Detainees’ Exchange Agreement, which took place in Switzerland in March,” the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen said in a statement.

The parties have committed to meet again in May to organize more releases, the statement said.

The release operation, which includes flights between six airports in Yemen and Saudi Arabia over the course of three days to return the released detainees, is being managed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), it added.

Welcoming the start of the release operation, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said: “This release operation comes at a time of hope for Yemen as a reminder that constructive dialogue and mutual compromises are powerful tools capable of achieving great outcomes.”

“Today, hundreds of Yemeni families get to celebrate Eid with their loved ones because the parties negotiated and reached an agreement. I hope this spirit is reflected in ongoing efforts to advance a comprehensive political solution,” said Grundberg.

He added that thousands more families are still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones, the special envoy expressed hope that “the parties build on the success of this operation to fulfill the commitment they made to the Yemeni people in the Stockholm Agreement to release all conflict-related detainees and bring this suffering to an end.”

He also urged the parties to “immediately and unconditionally” release all arbitrarily detained individuals and to adhere to international legal standards with regards to detention and fair trials.

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