Grilling: Latest Houthi technique of torturing captives in Taiz

Grilling: Latest Houthi technique of torturing captives in Taiz


 By Sara Hassan


Khaled Al-Zabeedi is still "haunted by memories of reverse hanging and electric shocks at the hands of Houthis" when he was in their jail in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah in 2018.

Living in government-held Marib city now and pursuing therapeutic treatment for post-traumatic stress, the 41-year-old said he was for eight months "subjected to all methods of torture the Houthis knew about for my background as a teacher and a supporter of the (UN-recognized) government."

"They apply electric shocks to your penis, hang you in reverse from legs downwards, assault you and rape you.  And if the charge against you amounts to high profile (peaceful) dissent, you should have no hope of freedom again," he says, tears glistening in his eyes.

Now the militia of Shia extremists seem to have introduced a torturing technique into their prisons: Grilling.

Safiya Hassan and Aneesa Saeed two women protesters in Taiz said their sons, recently released from Al-Saleh Jail run by the extremists, were subjected to "grilling on an open flame" on a continual basis for months. The two women were participating in a protest rally organized by the Association of Mothers of Abductees in Houthi jails. The rally was held in the government-held downtown Taiz on Thursday to protest abuses by the extremists encircling the city for six years.

The Association said in a press statement, "Prisoners are suspended over a rod with hands and legs firmly tied around it. Then they get exposed to on-and-off open fire."

"Our sons were finally released because they have nothing in their background more than personal oppositionist (pro-government) beliefs. If they had been high-profile activists they would not have been released and their torture would be worse," said Hassan. "Yet they were released on the condition of making no statements to the media of what happened to them in jail or they would face the risk of re-arrest. Yet Al-Saleh Jail, multi-story buildings that once served as trade centers and business stores, is still crammed with hundreds of male and female prisoners who get subjected to daily torture. "Some prisoners are blindfolded and handcuffed and forced to sit on pre-heated metal plates until their skin burns," according to the statement.

The protesters voiced through the statement appeals to "the international community" to intervene to release" the prisoners in the notorious jail.

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