Eight years of hell: Freed journalists tell worst stories of torture in Houthi prisons

Eight years of hell: Freed journalists tell worst stories of torture in Houthi prisons

From the moment of their kidnapping until they won freedom and boarded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) plane, the freed journalists revealed a side of the hell they lived through for 8 years in the prisons of the terrorist Houthi militia.

This came during a hearing organized by the National Organization for Yemeni Journalists "Sada", on Wednesday, in the city of Marib, in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day.

The freed journalists are: Tawfiq Al-Mansoori, Akram Al-Walidi, Harith Hamid, and Abdul-Khaliq Omran, who were released as part of an exchange deal between the "government" and the Houthi militia under the auspices of the United Nations.

During the hearing, which was attended by the "Al-Sahwa Net" reporter, the four journalists provided the audience with accounts about the crimes of kidnapping, disappearance, torture and deprivation they have been subjected to since their abduction in July 2015, and the violations and suffering their families were subjected to while searching for their whereabouts.

Torture and terror

The freed journalist Abd al-Khaliq Omran said, in his testimony about the Houthi crimes against him and his colleagues, "We were subjected to torture from the first kidnapping until we boarded the ICRC plane.

We were beaten with sticks, electrocuted, and put in solitary cells and collective cells, AND subjected to beating at every moment."

He added: We are now suffering from chronic diseases, including heart, diabetes and pressure, and from slips in the spine, infections in the joints and eyes, and infections in the ear, throat, stomach and colon, many things we suffer from;
This is all because of the torture we were subjected to.

He explained that the Houthi militia did not put him and his fellow journalists "in prisons, but rather put us as human shields in camps."

Journey through jails

Journalist Emran said, we were arrested in Houthi raids on 9/6/2015 at 3:00 a.m. by Houthi militia members who were heavily armed with light, heavy and medium weapons, and severely beat us, and transported us in a humiliating and humiliating manner, they put five of us in Al-Hasaba police station in Sana’a and four were transferred to the Al-Ahmar police station, and then they transferred us to the Criminal Investigation Prison, and this prison was a journey of torment, then the Al-Thawra Reserve Prison, then the Habra Reserve Prison, then the Political Security Prison, and then the Central Security Camp prison.

In these prisons, Emran said: "We received various forms of torture and deprivation, cramped cells, no food or treatment, and if one of us requests treatment, they hang us and torture us because of this request." Emran revealed that they were threatened with physical elmination, stressing that "one day they took us out and threatened to execute us in Tahrir Square, after they executed the kidnapped people from Hodeidah."

The pen is more dangerous than the bullet in the investigation records, he said that he was "always asking us about many colleagues, including Jamal Anam and Saeed Thabet, about journalists, their whereabouts, sources of information, funding sources, and our relationship with the media.

" He added that the Houthis used to say, "The pen is more dangerous than the bullet, and that everyone on the fronts is fighting us and is hostile to us because of you, the media.

" The journalist Emran explained that the real goal and motive behind their kidnapping for eight years is because they are only journalists and they tell the truth, free speech, and educate people, and there was no crime, and we did not commit a crime, the journalist is not a crime.

He said, "They turned us journalists into hostages and a paper for political blackmail, and sentenced us to death, and even when they released us from Sana'a by exchanging prisoners of fighters, these are all crimes committed by the militia against the kidnapped journalists.

" He added: The journalists are being incited from the highest level, and he is the leader of the group, Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, and when we were tortured, they used to play a video recording of us talking about journalists and media professionals as the most dangerous group and that they are the great danger that threatens the Houthi militia.

Judiciary as a torture tool

Journalist Abdul Khaleq Emran revealed the Houthi militia's use of the judiciary as a tool of torture, saying: "Even the court that was trying us was part of the torture process.

" He added: We spent five years in prison, including four years of enforced disappearance, were prevented from visits, and from communicating with the family, and we were only allowed to call to take money transfers, and when taking the money transfer, Abdul Qadir Al-Murtada and his two brothers Majd Al-Din and Abu Shihab confiscated it for his account.

And he said: They confiscated nearly four million riyals from us. All transfers that arrived from the government-held areas used to reach the accounts of Abdul Qadir Al-Murtada directly, and no riyals reached us.

And he continues that we spent in confinement (very cramped places), many days, at least one of them spent three years, or they put us to sleep on the tiles of his mold, and now we suffer from diseases, they were too much for us, even life, and they told us that we give you this food in order for you to sit alive, but he used to tell us
Abdul Qadir Al-Murtada that they worship God in torturing journalists.


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