Urgent appeal to save lives of Eritrean refugees’ in
the notorious Al Hodeida Prison
According to our reliable sources in Yemen the young Eritreans, majority of them from the Afar ethnic group, who fled their homeland to escape forced enrolment in the armed forces and who sought refuge in neighboring Yemen are placed among criminals in the notorious prison in Hodeida town.
On Saturday February 11, at the evening , Al Hodeida Prison inmates witnessed a dramatic and shocking incident. The Yemeni prison security forces, in their attempt to prevent organized escape by a group of inmates condemned to death, suddenly opened fire at random inside the crowded prison compound. Fortunately, none of more than 300 Eritrean refugees who were present during the shooting incident were killed or injured this time. Many of them have been forced to stay at this crowed open prison space; some of them for more than nine months.
These defenceless Eritrean refugees prisoners have also been exposed to daily violence and mistreatment by both the Yemeni inmates and prison guards. Because they do not have a roof over their head, they are exposed to temperature, extremely hot during the day and very cold at night. When it rains, they have no place to take cover.
We therefore urge the Yemeni authorities to protect the defenseless refugees currently found in Al Hodeida Prison.
We would like also to draw attention of the UNHCR to these refugees’ plight and appeal to them to speed up processing their cases to eventually resettle them in a third country.
We request Eritrean civil societies worldwide, Human Rights and Political Organizations to use their influence to rescue these refugees in such difficult situation.
Afar Friends in Sweden
The Afar friends in Sweden is a Swedish licensed international non governmental Organization. Its mission is to inform the international community about the plight of the Afar people in the Horn of Africa. We also provide expertise, knowledge, and Support for the development of programs dedicated to helping the Afar people fight the war against illiteracy, bad traditions (female extension), drugs (khat), water shortage, drought, diseases etc.
Please do not hesitate to visit our website for more information.