In Taiz, Abductees’ Mothers Association commemorated the third anniversary of bombing Community College Prison in Dhamar. Titled “Bombing Community College Prison, A Crime Awaiting Justice.”, the association held, this morning, a hearing session for several victims of the crime that took place at the early hours of September 1st, 2019, and resulted in the death of dozens of abductees.
Sadeq Mohammed Mofleh, a former abductee and a survivor of the bombing, gave the first statement. He was abducted by Houthis in Taiz, on December 11th, 2017, and taken Alkadarah checkpoint, then Alzaila’I, where he was interrogated. He was, later, transferred to Alsaleh prison, and remained there for four months. After that, he was transferred to Community College Prison in Dhamar.
In his statement, Mofleh said “The Coalition air force targeted the prison with 7 strikes. There were 180 detainees in one of the targeted buildings. We were covered by the debris, but managed to escape. However, we were surprised to run into Houthi pickups, which took us to Algharbeyah police station. We stayed there for a week. My parents did not know of the incident until a week passed. My son hid the news from his mother. I was thought to be deceased and my funeral was held at my village. My amnesty and release ordered went with the help of the Red Cross on October 1st, 2019.
“Some of the released survivors said that they saw their friends stuck under the rubbles, but were alive. When the rescue teams came with their bulldozers, they ran over the rubbles abductees were stuck beneath, which led to their death. They were alive, and were not killed by the airstrikes!” he added.
Ghamadan Al-Saba’ei’s mother spoke through her tears “Houthi armed group abducted my son from Alhawban area on October 7th, 2016. He we held at Alsaleh prison for a month, then transferred to Community College Prison, which was targeted by air force on September 1st, 2019. When I heard the news, I travelled to Dhamar to look for my son or his body. After a week of searching, Houthis denied me the right to look for my son’s body among the unidentified bodies. I managed to acquire a permission from the prosecutor’s office. When I went to where they keep the bodies of the victim, I noticed that the bodies were arranged like logs. It was not a morgue, and did not have the proper condition to preserve the bodies. The bodies, themselves, were filled with worms. I could identify my son’s body by distinctive marks on his ear and leg. Yet, Houthis refused to hand in the body. I contacted the Red Cross, who, in turn, scheduled the burial of bodies on October 12th. I am here today to demand compensation for all devastated families of the victims.”
The survivor, Mua’ammar Khaled Muqbel, who was abducted at Alaqroodh area in Taiz on October 4th, 2017, made his statement. “I was immediately taken to Alsaleh prison. I was held in an apartment they called Aldawa’esh (ISIS terrorists) apartment for 4 and half months. I was severely tortured and electrocuted repeatedly. In many occasions, they would take me to the roof and heavily spray my body with freezing water. They would, after that, taken me down stairs and turn the fans all the way up and tie one leg of min, leaving me standing on one leg only. Every time I dropped down of exhaustion and pain, they would beat me up with cables. 8 months later, I was transferred to Community College Prison in Dhamar, where I was detained for one year and 3 months. On Saturday, September 1st, 2019, the air force targeted the prison. After the first strike, I found myself stuck within four collapsed walls and unable to move. After the second strike, a hole was made in one of the walls, where I squeezed myself through and ran. On my way out, I encountered several survivors. We took shelter with the refugees and children, as parts of the prison were turned to refugees’ camps because Houthis killed those who survived the bombings. We, eventually, turned ourselves in for some of the wounded were in serious conditions while the air force continued its strikes. An hour later, we were transferred to Algharbeyah detention center. We were held there for 15 days, then transferred to Central Prison in Sana’a. At the end, we were released under the auspices of the Red Cross.”
Mohammed Ali Al-Besbas’ brother, said “My mother had sold all her belongings, including her gas cylinder, in order to afford the costs of searing for my brother, who was abducted at Be’er Basha area on November 1st, 2015. Firstly, he called after his abduction and told us he was detained at Alhayah school. I went with my mother there to see him, but we were told that he had been transferred to Central Prison in Sana’a. 7 months later, we received a call informing us that Mohammed was held at Ali Mohsen’s villa, which Mohammed himself confirmed in a phone call he made, but told us he was transferred after that to Central Prison in Sana’a. He was held there for four years, then transferred to Alsaleh Prison, in claims of preparations to include him in a close prisoners exchange operation. However, the operation was not successful, so he was transferred to Community College Prison in Dhamar. The air force targeted the prison shortly after his transfer. I went to look for him there, but I only found half of my brother’s body, which I recognized by a mark on his foot. When called for funeral prayers, people refused to pray because he was from Taiz. He was buried there in Dhamar.”
The association representative, Asama’a Al-Ra’ie, made a speech, where she reiterated that the crime of targeting Community College Prison in Dhamar has multiple perpetrators and violations against the detained civilians. According to the announcement of the Red Cross, the number of causalities mounted to 137 deaths and 45 injured. Abductees’ Mothers Association documented 42 causalities.
Al-Ra’ie demanded protecting abducted and detained civilians, granting their safety, holding the perpetrators and those who caused it, and achieving justice for the victims’ families and compensating them.