At a time when Yemen is passing through the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, including security incidents and major political and economic crises, that cast a negative shadow over the nature and reality of humanitarian work in Yemen, and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation due to the armed conflict, and at a time when the role of charities and humanitarian organizations must be intensified in relief programs and ensuring human security and social stability, charitable organizations and institutions were a target for the control of the Houthi armed group, especially the Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW), the largest charitable organization working in Yemen in implementing service and development projects that meet the needs of the population in Yemen and benefit thousands annually in all governorates of Yemen.
Over the past five years, the Houthi group has practiced a policy of restrictions on the CSSW represented in the systematic prevention of carrying out its humanitarian activities and freezing its bank accounts. And in parallel with these violations and practices the politicization of the Association and its humanitarian projects, so it was included in the list (funds and property of traitors) as a pretext to storm its offices, seize its assets, and replace a false and illegal entity, impersonating the Association’s name, character and representation.
Up to what was recently published by the Yemeni News Agency Saba, affiliated to the armed Houthi group, about the coup government’s intention to confiscate the CSSW and turn it into a governmental institution, which is a blatant violation of the provisions of the Constitution, law and international conventions that prohibit the confiscation of public funds and property in any way, which is a dangerous trend that comes within the framework of undermining charitable work, holding its breath, and destroying the structure of civil society.
What the Houthi armed group did and its insistence on violating human rights and plundering money has harmed the fate and rights of the poorest groups in society, including children, women, orphans, people with special needs, the poor, the displaced and the affected, whom the CSSW used to serve under the supervision and control of official authorities, away from any conflicts or political disputes.
In this regard, it also confirms the continuation of its relief work completely and its dealings with all government and official agencies, United Nations offices, and local and international partners through its main office in Aden Governorate and its office in the city of Seiyun.
Regarding the violations and abuses committed by this group, the CSSW directs this press release to all international organizations operating in Yemen, regional and local organizations, and affirms its rejection of the illegal measures issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Judicial Guard in Sana’a against the CSSW, and renews its call to all humanitarian organizations working in Yemen not to deal with what is issued by these authorities from Sana’a being considered as illegal.
CSSW affirms that it maintains its legal right to take legal measures to ensure the restoration of its rights and to bring the perpetrators of these violations to justice.
While appreciating and valuing the important role that human rights organizations play in the promotion and protection of rights and freedoms, the CSSW calls on all human rights organizations and institutions to support it and stand up to the violations it has been subjected to, monitor, document, and explain to the local and international public opinion, in order to achieve justice and fairness and ensure that human rights violators are held accountable and that there is no impunity.
Issued by the Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW- Yemen)
25 October, 2020