Houthi armed group has continued the imprisonment of nine journalists for more than five years. The journalists have been subjected to null and void trials and process that contravening the law. Subsequently, five of them were ordered to be released while the other four were sentenced to death, which is considered an extrajudicial execution as they have been unlawfully abducted, illegally processed, and inhumanly tortured and treated since June 9th, 2015.
We, at Abductees’ Mothers Association, condemn and disapprove the extortion journalists’ families have been subjected. Public Prosecution demanded different sums of money from families as guarantees after the court issued the release orders. After family members presented as much as four hundred thousand Rials, they were shocked by Houthis’ refusal of releasing abductees and demanding to include them in war prisoner exchange deals. We condemn the demand of exchange a civilian journalist with armed warrior.
The journalists are facing grave danger in Houthi prisons as Coronavirus continues to spread around the world. The abductees’ names are; Abdulkhareq Amran, Tawfiq Al-Mansouri, Hareth Humaid, Akram Al-Waleedi, Hashem Tarmoum, Esam Belghaith, Hesham Al-Yousefi, Haitham Al-Shehab, and Hasan Annab.
Despite the release ordered issued on April 11th, 2020, Houthi armed group continues the imprisonment of the following journalists; Hesham Tarmoum, Esam Belghaith, Hesham Al-Yousefi, Haitham Al-Shehab, and Hasan Annab.
At Abductees’ Mothers Association, we greatly condemn and disapprove the repeated violations carried out by Houthi armed group against the dozens of abducted journalists. Many of those journalists have been killed by air strikes after being detained at military bases, and many others have been subjected to forced disappearance, brutal torture, inhuman mistreatment, and extortion.
We call upon all human rights organizations, mainly the UN and its Special Envoy to Yemen, the IRC, the OHCHR, and journalists syndicates and unions to work and pressure for the release of all journalists as freedom of expression is their right and their lives as at risk of Covid-19.
Issued by Abductees’ Mothers Association, Sana’a
May 21st, 2020