YEMEN: ALKARAMA ADDRESSES THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE REGARDING THE SITUATION OF JOURNALISTS
On 23 December 2022, Alkarama sent an urgent appeal to the Special Rapporteur on Torture regarding the situation of Tawfiq Al Mansoori, Harith HAMID and Abdul Khaleq AMRAN, Yemeni journalists who were subjected to torture while in detention in the Central Security Camp prison in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.
The three journalists were abducted on 9 June 2015, in Sana'a, by Houthi militias. After being arbitrarily detained for nearly five years, including a long period of incommunicado detention, they were finally sentenced to death after an unfair trial.
On 9 June 2015, the case of the three journalists was submitted by Alkarama for the first time to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. However, none of them were released and, on the contrary, all were subjected to severe torture and forced to sign confessions that were used as evidence in their trial and death sentence. Although they told the judge that they had been forced to confess under torture, their statements were rejected.
After their death sentence, Alkarama turned to the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions as a matter of urgency, concerned that their death sentence was imminent.
Recently, Alkarama was informed by their families that they were subjected to severe torture in prison under the supervision of the head of the Houthi-affiliated "Prisoners Committee", a man named "Abdulqadir Al Murtada".
Tortured in the presence of « senior officials »
During August 2022, the three journalists were transferred to isolation cells on the first floor of the prison where they were tortured in the presence and under the direction of Abdulqadir Al Murtada, his brother Abu Shihab Al Murtada and his deputy Abu Hussein.
They were totally cut off from the outside world for 45 days, after which they were taken back to a collective cell. All of them bore signs of torture on different parts of their bodies and Tawfik Al Mansoori who was the most affected also had numerous stitches on his head. He testified that he was beaten on his head until his skull was fractured and he had to undergo emergency surgery.
Concerned about the situation of the victims, Alkarama urgently contacted the Special Rapporteur on Torture to ask him to urgently intervene with the de facto authorities in Yemen to call on them to refrain from any form of torture and ill-treatment against them and to release them immediately.