Obaid Salem Al Za’abi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to UN (right). Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The UAE Mission at the United Nations Office in Europe has denied accusations of running prison cells in Yemen.

Following media reports published by the Associated Press, which claimed that violations were allegedly carried out by the UAE in southern Yemeni prisons, the UAE on Thursday reiterated its stance in protecting global human rights.   

The UAE Mission in Geneva stated that Yemen authorities completely manage judicial and prison systems on a local and government level, and that the UAE has cooperated with the International Committee of the Red Cross to protect human rights in Yemen.  

“Yemeni authorities are in complete control of local and federal governance, judicial and prison systems. The UAE has never managed or run prisons or secret detention centers in Yemen,” said the UAE Mission.

“We have helped the Yemeni Government to facilitate visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross to uphold and protect international humanitarian law.”

The UAE has been part of the Saudi-led coalition fight against Al Houthis militias for the last three years.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition is currently protecting Yemen’s main port city of Al Hodeida, which is under attack by 2,000 - 3,000 Iran-backed Al Houthis fighters.

Gulf News reported last week that the UAE had set up an air bridge to Hodeidah, which consisted of 10 ships and three planes to carry 13,500 tonnes of foodstuffs to liberated parts of the city.

The air bridge was set up as per the orders of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and chairman of Emirates Red Crescent.

Speaking at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva last Wednesday, Obaid Salem Al Za’abi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to UN, reaffirmed the UAE’s belief that all people share common rights — regardless of colour, gender or race — saying a universal understanding of the concepts of human rights and a broad consensus among all states is vital in order to achieve negotiation.