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Yemen: ICRC calls for respect for human life and dignity

18-03-2011 News Release 11/62

Geneva/Sana'a (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is increasingly concerned about the loss of life and the injuries that have resulted from the escalation in violence.

It has been closely monitoring events in Sana'a and other cities in Yemen as they have unfolded over the past two months.

"The ICRC calls upon the authorities, demonstrators and all others involved to respect human life and dignity at all times," said Jean-Nicolas Marti, the ICRC's head of delegation in the country. Injured people, Yemen Red Crescent volunteers and medical personnel, their vehicles and facilities must be respected and protected at all times. Security forces must comply with international human rights law and international standards governing the use of force in their efforts to restore law and order. Those arrested and detained must be treated humanely.

"We have been providing support for the humanitarian work carried out by the Yemen Red Crescent in the capital Sana'a and other major cities by donating first-aid and other supplies that can be used to treat the injured on the spot," said Mr Marti. "Yemen Red Crescent volunteers have been doing remarkable work. Dozens of volunteers have been spending their days and nights in places where people are gathering. They are committed to help save lives."

Since the beginning of the unrest, the ICRC has been striving to help medical facilities cope with scores of injured people. It donated over 100 first-aid bags and 60 stretchers to the Yemen Red Crescent. It also provided the health ministry with enough surgical supplies to treat around 100 wounded people, and dressing kits for the ministry and local health boards. In addition, the ICRC supplied the Yemen Red Crescent with 250 blankets, 250 mattresses and 30 tents for use in first-aid posts in Sana'a. Over the past few months, the ICRC has also provided training for Yemen Red Crescent staff and volunteers in first aid and emergency response in Sana'a and Aden.

The ICRC continues to monitor the situation on the ground and stands ready to provide further support for the efforts of Yemeni medical services to care for people injured in the violence.

For more information, please contact:
Ammar M. Ammar, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 1 213 844 or +967 71 44 99 790
ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 34 43