Survivors share their sufferings while in Houthis-run prisons

Survivors share their sufferings while in Houthis-run prisons

 

Alsahwa Net- Abduction by the Houthis militants represents a nightmare to residents in Yemen because victims are often vulnerable to brutal forms of torture and inhuman treatment.

So far, over 128 people died in the Houthis-run detention centers because of torture to death or shooting dead in the prison.

And those who were lucky to escape death in prisons and were released are suffering serious illnesses including paralysis, mentality disorders or disability.

There has been no action at the international level to stop crimes against arbitrary detained civilians despite hundreds of sit-ins organized by the victims and their families to attract the world’s attention on serious abuses carried out by the Houthis militants in prisons, a father of one abductee said.

“The international community still deals with the Houthis as if they were not a terror group and as if those who were tortured to death were not humans,” the father said.

“Death is easier than the torture that I was subjected to,” C. Qutasih, one of the former detainees said.

Qutasih who is a school teacher of history was abducted by the Houthis rebels on 24 November 2018 while returning from his workplace.

His charge was “incitement against the Imam of the mosque who was designated by the Houthis.”.

“I was imprisoned at the Criminal Investigation Prison for 27 days because of that accusation,” said Qutasih.

“I was chained by wrists to the roof for ten hours in the interrogation room. The headsman was beating me with an electric baton on every part of my body until I lose consciousness,” Qutaish said.

“The headsman waterboarded me with dirty water after unchaining my wrists from the roof. He [the headsman] takes a 15-miniutes break and repeat the same torture technique,” he said.

Qutaish was released later with his left eye injured and remarks of brutal torture were present on various parts of his body.

He also sustained diabetes because of the torture and medical negligence in the prison.

“When anyone gets arrested by the Houthis, the questions is not when is he going to be released, but how his condition will he be when released?” an officer of the Criminal Investigation Department in the capital Sana’a said.

The officer who requested his name remain anonymous in fear of intimidation by the Houthis, said that the Houthis gunmen force officers of the criminal investigation to conduct the first interrogation and on the second day, they do their own interrogation using their own methods.

“They use us to only legalize accusations they raise against the detainees,” he said.

“They [the Houthis] request us to open investigation memos for strange accusations such as “insulting friends of Allah or befriending the Jews and the hypocrites,” the officer said.

“We do not know what questions can be asked to investigate such accusation because our task as formal policemen is to investigate criminal offenses,” he said.

Cases of brutal torture against the civilians in the Houthis-run prisons reached so far more than 1,393 among them seven children, according to a report by Rusd Organization for Rights and Freedoms.

The same report indicated that the Houthis militants abducted 18,000 people since 2015 until 2018 among them 58 women and 268 children.

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