American Center of Justice (ACJ) Executive Director, Abdul-Rahman Barman said that the violations committed against the kidnapped, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared do not receive enough attention by media and human rights organizations especially since they are committed by all parties, albeit to varying degrees.
This statement was a part of a session held by Abductees’ Mothers Association and the American Center for Justice (ACJ) on Twitter space to present the stories and experiences of the released abductees. This session itself was one of the activities organized on the occasion of the Yemeni Abductees’ Day to release the Yemenis kidnapped in the prisons of the various armed group and the government organizations and also to declare 18 April a, popular and official day to show solidarity with the abductees and end their suffering.
Barman spoke about the suffering of the abductees in the prisons of the Houthi group, STC, forces of Republican Guards and the forces of the government, pointing to the difference in the scale of these violations, the role of the Abductees’ Mothers Association and the role of the American Center in transferring this suffering to world public opinion.
A number of the released abductees who were subjected to these violations participated in the account of the kidnapping experiences, including journalist Essam Balghith, who was kidnapped with a number of his fellow journalists, some of whom were released, while others are still being held by the Houthi group, facing death sentences, and all of them were subjected to various forms of torture.
In her account of her experience, which began at the end of 2018, the activist Bardis Al-Siyaghi said that she was kidnapped with her children, who were beaten and dragged in front of her. She was also photographed while she was being tortured and drenched in her blood in order to transmit the pictures to security officials, referring to the killing of her brother in the prisons of the Houthi group whereas she left the detention center with injuries and fractures in the face and eye.
Telling his experience, journalist Hisham Al-Yousifi, who described the time of the kidnapping as one of the worst moments of his life, said that he and a number of his inmates in the prison were being intimidated by the bombing of the prison, as the jailers would run away when they heard the sounds of the planes to convince them that the prison would be targeted in the raids. They were deprived of exposure to the sun for many months, while journalist Sadiq Al-Batra explained how he was beaten on the knee until he felt that he was losing his leg, and then on his thigh where he underwent a previous surgery, under the pretext that it was a war injury, which led to a fracture of his thigh.
Sonia Saleh also described her experience saying that she was beaten, slapped, sprayed with cold water, and electrocuted and her body was pierced with big nails. She was also de-nailed. Then she was released after a long period of time and a huge ransom.
Amin Al-Shafaq lamented the conditions of the abductees after leaving detention, as they don’t find sufficient attention and care after all they had been exposed to and the sacrifices they had made.