Houthis continue illegal prosecution of detained journalists

Houthis continue illegal prosecution of detained journalists

Alsahwa Net- The Specialized Criminal Court which is run by the Houthis rebels in the capital Sana’a, continues illegal prosecution procedures of the ten detained journalists who have been in captivity for over four years.

Lawyers of the detained journalists said that the court has referred the case to an extremist Houthi judge who is extremely notorious for his affiliation to the Houthis rebels, chief of the defense council, Abdulbasit Ghazi, wrote on his Facebook page.

“The lawyers were surprised by the transfer of the case to Mohammed Mufleh, who is a Houthi extremist Judge,” said Ghazi.

He demanded immediate release of the confined journalists for their deteriorated health conditions that threaten their lives.

He indicated that the Specialized Criminal Court is not authorized to prosecute journalists because the press court is the sole legal body to handle the press-related issues.

The Houthis brought the detained journalists in September 2018 to the Specialized Criminal Prosecution (state security prosecution) for investigation.

The detained journalists who still undergo the illegal prosecution by the specialized criminal court are: Abdulkhaleq Amran, Salah Al-Qaedi, Tawfiq Al-Mansouri, Essam Balghaith, Hasan Anab, Hesham Tarmoom, Hesham Al-Yousufi, Haitham Al-Shehab, Akram Al-Waleedi and Hareth Humaid.

Lawyers say that the prosecution lack minimum standards of procedures’ integrity and disagrees with Yemen’s national laws and human rights conventions.

The victims are being confined at the Political Security Prison which is infamous for its grave human rights violations. It is the same prison where terror suspects and political dissidents are often held captives.

Human rights advocates say that the detained journalists are vulnerable to constant physical and psychological torture and are banned from visitation. 

The Yemeni Media Professionals Organization which is known as “Sada” reported recently that eight of the total confined reporters fell sick due to long time in custody and poor nutrition.

The organization said that the eight of the detained journalists suffer from spine degenerative discs, rheumatism, liver diseases, gastric ulcers, malnutrition, poor sight and psychological disorders because of long imprisonment period.

Sada said that the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), his special envoy to Yemen and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) must contribute effectively for the Yemeni journalists’ protection as this is part of their humanitarian and ethical responsibility.  

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