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Safety of ten jailed journalists in Houthi prisons is exposed to peril

Protest by the families of the ten detained journalists before the PSO prison in Sana'a, Monday, May 30 2016 
Thu - (02 Jun 2016) - Press Releases

Mwatana Organization for Human rights said today that Ansar Allah Armed group (Houthis) has to immediately release 10 jailed journalists whose safety is at a serious risk at the Houthi’ prisons at the Yemeni Capital of Sana’a.

Mwatana has called Houthi group to quickly end the misery of the ten journalists whose health conditions have severely deteriorated due to hunger strike they began on May 9, 2016 in a protest for their being illegally and arbitrarily detained for more than a year.

Families of the jailed journalists have talked to Mwatana about the sufferings of the ten journalists after and that two of them have fallen into coma after their 22 days of hunger.

“Houthi authorities have disappeared the ten journalists and denied their families visits since May 23, 2016, and the journalists were threatened to be disappeared and cleansed unless they stop their hunger strike” the families said.

The families told Mwatana that the ten jailed journalists were subject to torture, inhuman treatment and solitary confinement in Houthi prisons.

Radhya al-Mutwakel, Chairperson of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights said: “Houthi group has to respect the International Humanitarian Law, International Law of Human Rights and human dignity, and immediately release those detained and forcibly disappeared journalists and put an end to sufferings of detainees and their concerned families.”  

Al-Mutwakel has called on all international human rights bodies and organizations not to forget what those detained and disappeared Yemeni journalists have been going through; urging these bodies and organizations to back and support the families of the ten journalists intensifying efforts and pressure to put an end for what the journalists and their families are in.  

Ansar Allah armed group (Houthis) carried out wide-scale campaign of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances against hundreds of civilians in the governorates under the group's control since it has taken over power in Yemen by the end of September 2014, with the emergence of opposing local armed groups beside governmental forces resisting that expansion, and external military intervention by Saudi-led Arab coalition.

Houthi de facto authority undermined press freedoms through practices of carrying out arbitrary assaults, arrests on pressmen and press institutions or threatening of assaults or jeopardizing the safety of media workers, in addition to blocking news websites.

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