The Secret Prisons of Al-Houthi, Yemen

Written by Fakhri Al-Arashi

By Adel Doshela

It should be no surprise that the prison has become a major Yemeni issue because Yemen is pregnant with experiences of suffering, oppression and living behind the bars is such an experience that allows us to have a glimpse of rich and varied aspects of the suffering of human identity.

“The Houthi armed group, supported by state security forces, has carried out a wave of arrests of its opponents, arbitrarily seizing critics at gunpoint and subjecting some to enforced disappearance as part of a chilling campaign to quash dissent in areas of Yemen under its control”, said Amnesty International in a new report published yesterday.

Yemeni people live in a world which is full of tragic stories; horrible images of pain, torture, arrest and violence. Militias have turned Yemen into a large and horrible prison. Yemeni citizen in this large prison becomes like a man without identity. He is deprived of his basic rights in this monstrous world. He becomes an alien in this large prison.

After the military coup in 2014 by the sectarian militias who are supported by Iranian government and some regional regimes, they begin to suppress, kill, torture, exile and oppress Yemenis. They begin to arrest poets; critics and anyone opposes their military coup. Since militias’ military coup began on 21 September 2014, the country has been plunged into a political and humanitarian crisis. These militias have killed many people in their monstrous prisons. These people did not commit any crime except being a voice of the voiceless.

There are also many political leaders, who oppose militias’ takeover of the country still in the prisons. For instance, Mr.Mohammed Qhtan, political opponent, Mahmoud al-Subaihi, Yemeni Defence Minister and many activists are still in the secret prisons of al-Houthi.

According to human rights reports, “more than 2,478 people are still imprisoned in al-Houthi’s jails”. However, thousands of Yemenis, including children and innocent people, are still languishing in Houthi’s Prisons.

It pains us to see images of destruction, sectarian conflicts, monstrous prisons and violence emerging from a magnificent piece of land, a Yemeni land that one day was the source of civilizations, co-existence, art and culture for thousands of years. Yemeni people do not imagine that such things are going in Yemen in 2015-2016.

When we are talking about prisoners in the prisons of al-Houthi we are talking about disappearance, humiliation, mistreatment and oppression. Many people are disappeared and some of them are killed in these horrible prisons. Many innocent people, political leaders, sheiks, preachers, journalists and activists are subject to physical and mental torture inside secret prisons run by al-Houthi’s militias. al-Houthi’s militias, who call themselves Ansar Allah, commit horrible and atrocious crimes in their secret prisons.

We cannot bear the difficult times that the prisoners are suffering from. Imagine some of the prisoners asked the jailers ‘could I see my daughters and sons’, please, and they did not get answers. The prisoners also lose the privilege of privacy in these dim graves in addition to losing the normal life. The space of daily life in al-Houthi’s prisons is a dreadful . These prisons are also depicted as dead houses.

International organizations cannot access to these secret prisons, which are run by Ansar Allah, Houthi’s Militias. “About 200 political detainees including nine journalists are subjected to torture, sources told Sana’a Rights Center.” Activist campaigns are not working hard to put the issues of these innocent prisoners on the agenda.

Al-Houthi’s militias have to let people live their lives as they want, Let them to live like others in the world, to destroy these frightening prisons and to free the people. The people have to decide their fate and future. These people have rights to live in peace, dignity and freedom like other people.

Adel Doshela is a Yemeni researcher and freelance Writer, currently writing his PhD in English Literature. Follow him in tweeter: @DoshelaAdel

1 Comment

  • Dear Fakhri Al-Arashi,
    Hope you are Keeping well.
    At the outset, Thank you very much for publishing my article in your esteemed website. How good of you. I have a lot of articles about military coups in the Arab World.
    Yours faithfully,
    Adel Doshela