196 prisoners were released on Sunday as part of the prisoner exchange process, as part of the agreement reached between the Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthis. A 3-day exchange of approximately 9000 tuk-tuks with the Houthi rebels has been completed.
“Today's prisoner swap included 196 detainees,” government negotiator Majid Fadael told Anadolu.
“We have completed the transfer of nearly 900 prisoners from both sides, in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),” he added.
The freed prisoners included four journalists who were sentenced to death by Houthi rebels, the negotiator said.
The ICRC also confirmed the conclusion of the prisoner swap between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels.
“Release operations have concluded successfully after 3 days. The ICRC and Yemeni Red Crescent Society have worked tirelessly to reunite about 900 former detainees with their families, taking a positive step toward peace and reconciliation in Yemen,” the ICRC said in a statement.
On March 20, the Yemeni government announced an agreement with the Houthi group to release 887 prisoners and abductees from both sides, at the conclusion of consultations held in Switzerland.
Last year, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels signed a UN-brokered deal to free 2,000 prisoners, but their release was disrupted amide mutual accusations of violations of the agreement.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
(AA - Ihlas News Agency)