Forty-four prisoners in Aden's Bir Ahmed prison are vulnerable to several disease outbreaks including coronavirus, according to the Association of Mothers of Abductees
Mothers of Abductees: Release prisoners threatened by coronavirus
The Association of Mothers of Abductees said Monday that the safety of 44 prisoners in Aden’s Bir Ahmed prison is directly threatened by several disease outbreaks currently plaguing the region, most notably the novel coronavirus. Yemen’s national emergency coronavirus committee has declared Aden, which also suffers from malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya, an “infested city.”
The mothers’ association issued a statement calling for the prisoners to be released to their homes, where they could quarantine safely. The group noted that it had received information that Bir Ahmed’s deputy director was ill with an unknown disease. The deputy director’s brother, who also works at the prison, had died of one of the diseases plaguing the interim capital, according to the mothers’ group.
"The detainees inside Bir Ahmed prison are vulnerable to infection and epidemics, notably COVID-19, which may spread into overcrowded cells where it is impossible to [social] distance and which lack the most basic hygiene," the group said in the statement.
Calling on the prime minister, minister of health, minister of justice and other officials to uphold the state’s obligation to protect detainees, the association also appealed to the United Nations and the Saudi-led coalition leadership in Aden to immediately release detainees and the forcibly disappeared.
They called on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to urgently visit Bir Ahmed ensure prisoners are being given necessary medical care.
Aden, which has been hit by torrential rains and floods in recent weeks, has seen an increase in diseases and deaths. Medical staff previously told Almasdar Online that without proper testing, they have been unable to distinguish who is suffering from coronavirus versus a number of other diseases currently in Aden. Four people in Aden who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
Edited by Ahlam Mohsen