Members of the Yemeni Abductees' Mothers Association protest in a demonstration July 26, 2017. (The Daily Star/Association of Abductee's mothers)
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The hotline rang every day for about three weeks in December at the Abductees' Mothers Association. Yemeni families were desperately searching for male relatives in the shattered country after Yemen's former president was killed. The Shiite-rebel Houthis seized Sana'a in September 2014 and tried to consolidate power across the country.In December, rebels said they killed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the dominant figure in Yemeni politics for decades.In the first half last year, the association documented 1,866 cases of people being abducted, including 35 women and 48 children, in areas controlled by the Houthis, according to its report for the first half of 2017 .Yemen and Saudi government officials didn't allow the group of journalists to visit any Shiite Houthi rebels being detained by the Arab-led coalition.The Associated Press reported in June last year that nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into clandestine prisons run by the United Arab Emirates, a Arab-led coalition partner, and the Yemeni government. It cited lawyers and family members. Although the conflict has split along sectarian lines, the association isn't politically affiliated.
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