Mwatana Released Human Rights Documentary “False Report”
Aug 30, 2016, Sana’a—Mwatana Organization for Human Rights released the human rights documentary "False Report" highlighting the victims have been enforcedly disappeared and fatally tortured by the forces of Ansar Allah (Houthis), which have been taking over the capital Sana’a since September 21, 2014.
The documentary tells the killing of Mujahid Muhammad Ali al-Zaidi (22 years) under torture in the prison of the Political Security Organization at Ibb Governorate middle Yemen, after having been arbitrarily detained along with his two brothers by Houthi gunmen in December 22, 2015 from their house, and forcibly disappeared for about 45 days.
At 10. P.m., 18 Houthi gunmen broke into al-Zaidi’s house in the Furoa village, al-Mashannah district, Ibb after besieging and randomly shooting the house. The armed group arrested al-Zaidi’s three siblings: Khalil (28 years) was shot in the right forearm, Amir (24 years) and Mujahid, and held them incommunicado throughout the detention period .
In an interview with Mwatana, Khalil al-Zaidi (28 years) stated that after being moved to the prison of Political Security Organization, he was left with no medical treatment. Amir al-Zaidi (24 years) mentioned that he received verbal charges on being ISIS affiliate, and, asked several questions on whether he had ties with the Saudi-led Arab coalition and with Hamoud al-Mikhlafi (a popular resistance leader in Taiz) in addition to interrogating him over other names he didn’t know, according to the interview.
In “False Report” documentary, Khalil al-Zaidi said that he was subjected to torture using electric shock, metal batons, kicking and punching. He had been investigated from 10:30 pm to 1:00 am though bleeding. He explained other acts of ill-treatment including clean-shaving at the night of birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad, adding that his brother Mujahid was found dead when the barber entered his cell.
Upon 45 days of enforced disappearance, the two brothers, Khalil and Amir were released on Feb 6th 2016, and they were not then aware that their younger brother Mujahid had died from torture. They were later informed that what they had been subject to is due to a false report.
This act is a violation of article 48 (a) of the Yemeni Constitution that prohibits restriction of personal freedom without a resolution rendered by a competent court.
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Yemen in 1987, stipulates "Everyone has the right to his/her personal freedom and security. No one shall be arrested or detained arbitrarily. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on grounds provided by law and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law".
Article V of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the seventh article of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, affirms not one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.
Yemen is also party to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional Protocol relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts (Protocol II).
Article 48 (b) of the Yemeni Constitution stipulates "No one shall be imprisoned or detained anyone in places not designed for this purpose and are governed by the Prisons Act."
International humanitarian law demands the parties to the conflict to protect persons in custody or detention of "dealing violently with life and breath, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture and outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."
Paragraph 2 of article II of the Convention against torture invoke any exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a State of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency as a justification of torture.
Torture is defined in article 1 of the Convention against torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person with a view to obtaining from that person or a third person information or a confession or punishing him for an act committed or suspected wrongdoing he or a third person.”
According to article 2 of the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance, “enforced disappearance is also known as that forms of arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of liberty is by State officials, or persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or hide the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, thus depriving them of the protection of the law.”
Article 5 of the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance or systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity as defined in applicable international law and shall attract the consequences provided for under such applicable international law.
Mwatana has verified 20 torture-involved cases in which three detainees died due to torture under control of Ansar Allah armed group (Houthis). Most of such cases occurred in Ibb governorate, middle of Yemen.
In its report (They Are Not Here), Mwatana has verified 26 cases of enforced disappearances and 53 cases of arbitrary detentions committed by Houthi group against politically opposing civilians.
Mwatana calls upon Ansar Allah group (Houthis) to immediately release of all those arbitrarily detained and enforcedly disappeared in the group’s prisons, and to hold all those responsible for these violations accountable, especially those involved in torturing.
Mwatana reiterates its call for establishing an independent international mechanism to investigate human right violations committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen.