Former detainee tells horrific tales of torture in Houthi jails

Former detainee tells horrific tales of torture in Houthi jails

A tribal chieftain who has been released from Houthi detention this month paralyzed has told al-Masdar news website horrific tales of torture he was subjected to for three years since he was arrested by Houthis in the capital Sana'a in March 2015.

Jamal al-Maamari said he was arrested when he was with his wife in an hotel room in the capital Sana'a at 12 midnight in 13 March 2015.

Here are some excerpts of what he told the news site:

"I was taken to a house and upon arriving dragged on the stairs of the house and assaulted with rifle butts until I lost my consciousness. I woke up the second day in the Police Hospital and I saw blood stainin all my clothes. They injured some of the vertebrates of my neck severely.   

As I woke up, they knew I was still alive so they returned me to the house and kept torturing me for eight straight days keeping me sleepless. Torture and nothing other than torture, in a brutality similar to that which the world watches on TV in Syria." 

Pointing at his left foot, al-Maamari said, "They burnt this foot until flesh bits started to fall off burnt." When he told them why are they doing that they brought a drill "and punctured two holes in my thigh. A forensic expert can verify that."  

He said he was tied to a chair and severely beaten in the back of the head until he passes out. "Out of the brutality I would frequently black out and wake up to see blood trickling from me."

"They disconnected the tendons of my left arm and leg."

Another technique that the Shia Islamist rebels used to inflict pain on al-Maamari was to "deprive me of sleep. Gunmen who are not investigators take turns to interrogate you, everyone of them asks you to narrate your personal profile almost 40 times."  

"Another form of torture is that they don't let you to go to the toilet alone, but one of their men escorts you and watches you as you defecate. That was one of the causes I had to do a hunger strike."   

"In the first day I was subjected to eight hours of continuous torture. Because of the consecutive hits at the back of my head on my spine, I started to pass out and I experienced a paralysis which has now evolved to a paralysis of half of my body as you see."

He said that in his cell in the prison he also used to hear the screams of other detainees being tortured saying that was taken from an intelligence jail to another over these three years. Until finally he was released paralyzed in a prisoner swap.

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