News release

Operational update on the release of detainees from the Yemen conflict

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will be giving real-time updates for media during the release and transfer of detainees from the Yemen conflict.

Facts about the operation: More than 1,000 people detained in relation to the conflict in Yemen are to be transported back to their region of origin or to their home countries by the ICRC in the largest operation of its kind during the five-and-a-half-year war.

 The process involves ICRC-operated flights into and out of several cities in two countries – Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Photo taken at Abha Airport in Saudi Arabia where people are transported to their homes on our plane

 The release operation comes as a  result of talks in Montreux, Switzerland last month, which built upon the works of the Stockholm Agreement in late 2018. The ICRC’s role in the release operation is to act as a neutral intermediary in transporting the former detainees.

 The ICRC has been conducting one-on-one interviews and medical checks with the detainees to be sure they want to be transported home and are healthy enough to do so. The ICRC is also providing the detainees with clothes, hygiene material and money for transportation home.

 The ICRC is distributing personal protection equipment and carrying out social distancing measures in the airplanes and airports to protect against the transmission of COVID-19. Medical staff and volunteers from the Yemen Red Crescent Society and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority are assisting in the operation at the airports and on the flights, including helping infirm detainees on and off the planes and providing ambulance services.


 Twitter updates can be found at: and and and

 Video and photo material will also be available from


For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Yara Khawaja (English and Arabic): +967 730 500 719 or

Fareed Al-Homaid (Arabic):  +967 739 164 666 or

Ziad Abulaban (Arabic, English, French): + +965 940 374 71 or

Alaa Nayel (Arabic, English): +965 966 73614 or

Ruth Hetherington (English): +41 79 447 37 26 or


Interview Opportunity: ICRC’s director of operations for the Middle East, Fabrizio Carboni, will be in Yemen during the operation and will be available for interviews.