Statement Regarding The Legal Breach in The Case of Ahmed Maher

Several organizations that have endorsed this statement have reported that journalist Ahmed Maher is still being arbitrarily detained in prisons of a faction affiliated with the Transitional Council in Aden since his arrest on August 6, 2022. There are new indications of his exposure to torture and denial of his right to a fair trial, causing psychological and physical harm to him and his family. These reports suggest that there has been a disregard for all human rights and official appeals to expedite his case and secure his immediate release.

The organizations stated that the specialized criminal court in Aden has held seventeen sessions in the case of journalist Ahmed Maher, all of which resulted in adjournments. Maher has only been present in two sessions, which is a clear violation of his right to a fair trial. The court is also disregarding directives issued by the Judicial Inspection Authority, the Judiciary Sector, and the Supreme Judicial Council to expedite the case and hold consecutive urgent sessions, according to Ahmed Maher’s family.

The lawyers of journalist Maher are demanding that he be tried before a press court, as the charges against him are related to publishing. However, the judicial authorities have ignored this demand, which is a deliberate disregard that includes directives from the President of the Yemeni Supreme Council, who called for an immediate investigation into the incident of Maher’s detention in September 2022. This came after the publication of a video in which the journalist allegedly made a fabricated “confession” to committing crimes. It is evident that he made these statements under duress and was coerced into saying predetermined words.

The endorsing organizations strongly condemn the evident legal violations in the case of journalist Ahmed Maher. They call upon Chief Justice Ali Al-Awash to intervene immediately to rectify the situation, whether by holding urgent sessions, transferring the case to a press court or another criminal court, or releasing journalist Maher, considering that he has been held in prison for over a year due to his political views and journalistic writings.

The sequence of events of the case of journalist Ahmed Maher
August 2022Ahmed Maher was arrested with his brother Mayas
September October 2022The confession video went viral online
President El-Olemy requests an investigation into the case of Ahmed Maher – The prosecution conducts the first official interrogation with Ahmed Maher
Ahmed and his brother Mayas were transferred to Bir al-Ahmed prison
October – November 2022Mayas Maher was released from Bir al-Ahmed prison
December – 2022 – January 2023Ahmed Maher’s trial sessions have been repeatedly postponed
March 2023Ahmed Maher appears in court where he was charged with spreading false information
March 2023Ahmed Maher appears before the court
May to October 2023Ahmed Maher’s trial sessions have been repeatedly postponed

Signatory organizations:

  • SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties
  • Free Media Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Yemeni Journalists Syndicate
  • The Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations- YCMHRV
  • Abductees’ Mothers Association
  • Studies and Economic Media Center
  • Marsadak
  • Alamal Women’s and Sociocultural Foundation
  • Center for Strategic Studies to Support Women and Children
  • Musaala for Human Rights
  • Marib Dam Foundation for Social Development- MDF