Southern governors call for end to unauthorized arrests

This post is an update on a previous series of posts which called attention to unauthorized raids, arrests and detentions being carried out by UAE-backed security forces in southern Yemen.

The United Arab Emirates has played a major role in the Saudi-led coalition that backs the Hadi government in Yemen’s ongoing civil war. That role has involved not only humanitarian and military support, but also the training and supervision of local security forces in the South--specifically the Security Belt Forces in and around Aden, and the Hadhrami Elite Forces in Hadhramawt. As we reported last summer, these units have been implicated in extrajudicial raids, arrests, detention, and torture of locals. The governors of Abyan and Hadhramawt governorates recently made announcements calling for an end to these unauthorized activities.

The governor of Abyan province, Dr. al-Khader Mohammad al-Saidi, held a meeting with a number of local officials in which they agreed to condemn and forbid raids and arrests, unless legally authorized and based on accurate information from trusted sources. The meeting also highlighted issues faced by prisoners and detainees in the governorate, namely the hearing of prisoner statements and providing information on the charges and evidence against them within a timeframe not to exceed 10 days.

Governor General Ahmed bin Brik of Hadhramawt province produced a statement addressed to the leaders of the Arab Coalition forces, the commander of the Second Military Zone, the Director of Public Prosecution, and the Director General of Security and Police of the Sahel region, ordering the immediate prohibition of arrests or raids without the permission of the Public Prosecutor.