Local News

Activists accuse government of ignoring illegal detention cases

National Yemen

Yemeni Detainee

By: NY Staff

A number of human rights activists have condemned the government’s “negative role towards cases of detention and arbitrarily kidnapped revolutionary youths, this despite improvements in the political status quo and the election of a new president. In a workshop organized by Raqeeb Organization, journalist Yahiya Mohammed Al-Tholaya, Chairman of the Revolutionary Detainees’ Organization, said that more than three thousand revolutionary youths had been tortured or illegally imprisoned.

According to Al-Tholaya, detainees were put in illegal and unofficial jails and that the general situation in the jails was miserable. “Detainees lacked basic rights, were completely isolated from the outside world, and were subject to harsh psychological and physical torture,” he stated. He added that some of the detainees had lost their minds, become seriously sick or died as a result of cruel treatment.

In documents he presented during the workshop, Al-Tholaya demanded that concerned authorities issue orders for the release of detainees and compensate them for harm they had been subjected to and for those who had been psychologically and physically tortured to receive treatment.

“We demand that President Hadi form a committee that includes members from concerned authorities, revolutionary youths, and human rights organizations to search all prisons and obtain the release of all detainees; we also demand that the committee reconsider the overall conditions for prisoners in general,” he added. Al-Tholoaya further demanded an immediate end to illegal detentions and for all illegal prisons to be closed.

For his part, former detainee Abdulkareem Hussein condemned the government for ignoring such issues and confirmed that a number of youths continue to be held in prisons in the face of national, regional and international silence.

“President Hadi, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, Ministers of the Interior, Defense, and Human Rights – they  all seem to have no authority, as their orders and directions are never implemented,” said Hussein.

In this regard, human rights activist Dhikra Al-Wahedi reviewed a number of stories of detainees who had suffered torture and said the total number of such cases amounted to more than 2500, the victims including men, women, children, citizens and soldiers. “More than 500 arbitrarily-detained people are still unaccounted for, many detainees were left partially or completely paralyzed, while others suffer from serious cases of depression that my lead to mental illness if they don’t receive immediate treatment,” said Al-Wahedi.

According to her, many organizations effectively ignore such cases and don’t work to find solutions for them. “There are people who still haven’t been reported to be detainees because of fear of the security forces who control their relatives and an ignorance of the legal procedures for reporting such news.”

In a related matter, a legal committee at Sana’a’s Change Square stated that it had investigated the cases of detainees, some of whom had been released while others continue to be held in prisons. In a press release, the committee noted that it had received the names of detainees, which included 31 detainees in Political Security prisons, 30 in Republican Guard prisons, and 48 in administration prisons. The committee went on to state that many others are still unaccounted for, and that nobody knows whether such individuals are alive or dead.