Yemen: Rights Radar Calls on International Community to Urgently Intervene to Save lives of Prisoners Sentenced to Death by Houthis
The Amsterdam-based Rights Radar (RR) for Human Rights, has called on the international community to put serious pressure on the Houthi insurgency in Yemen to prevent the executions against the prisoners who were illegally tried and deprived of advocating themselves.
Rights Radar has called on the Houthis to retract any execution decisions made against detainees and prisoners on a political basis, enable prisoners to have the right to defend themselves without restrictions and pressures and provide them with a legal situation that guarantees them the integrity of procedures. This will never be achieved because the courts in Sana’a are under the control of the Houthi insurgency.
In a statement, Rights Radar said; “We were shocked because the so-called (Specialized Criminal Court), affiliated with Houthi insurgency in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, issued decisions of execution as a brutal penalty” against Fahd Al-Salami, the principal of Al-Nahda School, and against Sadiq Al-Majidi and Khaled Al-Olofi.” The Houthi decision included the retroactive imprisonment against Ahmed Al-Qatta’a, Fouad Al-Awadhi, Nabil Al-Sadawi and Asim Radman for 8 years starting from the date of their detention.
The decision also included seven-year imprisonment against Mansour Al-Faqih, Essam Al-Zindani, Mohammed Al-Harazi, Mukhtar Al-Jabali and Mahdani Al-Mahdani, starting from the date of their detention. In addition to the imprisonment of Habib Al-Odaini to five-year, who was released at the end of the trial.
Rights Radar stated that those decisions were considered (political judgements), and could be added to the previous Houthi decisions that were issued on a political basis and without any real legal basis due to the illegality of the court that issued these judgements and the absence of authority of the judges who issued them, as the Supreme Judicial Council of Yemen issued a decree to abolish this court in April 2018.
Rights Radar explained that these decisions made a big shock as they caused a state of concern among human rights activists in Yemen, and doubled the fears for the lives of the detained civilians against whom such illegal decisions were issued.
According to sources close to the families of those persons, Fahd Al-Salami, director of Al-Nahda School in Sana’a, was detained while he was driving his car on Al Rabat Street in the center of the capital, Sana’a in the summer of 2016. Khaled Ol-Olofi was also detained a few years ago and he was released as part of an exchange of prisoners with the Yemeni government.
This Houthi court also issued a shocking decision on April 11, 2020, to execute four journalists detained by the Houthi militants on June 9, 2015. Those are Abdul-Khaleq Imran, Akram Al-Walidi, Harith Homaid and Tawfiq Al-Mansori, who were tried on a political basis and charged with "cooperating with the enemies".
At the end of August of 2021, the Houthi court also issued a similar decision which sentenced to death 11 civilians, including two women, who were charged with “espionage for the benefit of a foreign country.”
The judgment stipulated the execution penalty against Mohammad Al-Maliki, Ali Al-Shahdhi, Najib Ali Al-Baadani, Samir Musaad Al-Ammari, Essam Mohammad Al-Faqih, Abdullah Muqraish, Nabil Hadi Al-Ansi, Abdullah Al-Khayyat, Abdullah Suwar, Hanan Mutahar Al-Shahdhi and Altaf Yahya Al-Matari. This judgment included too the confiscating of the assets and funds of these prisoners.
In mid-June 2021, the same court issued a decision to execute Fouad Al-Mansouri and his wife, lawyer and human rights activist Zaafaran Zayed, the head of the "Women Empowerment Organization", on charges of kidnapping the child Buthaina Al-Raimi, who was taken for treatment in Saudi Arabia following the killing of her parents in a raid by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
On September 18, the Houthi group shocked the local and international public opinion by executing nine detainees, including an underage person, after a sham trial that lacked all conditions of justice as the victims were not getting their rights to justice and not allowed to defend themselves. The Houthi militants carried out these executions against the nine victims in the presence of media and a large crowd of attendees. Those victims are Ali Ali Ibrahim Al-Quzi, Abdul-Malik Ahmed Mohammad Hamid, Mohammad Khaled Ali Haij, Mohammad Ibrahim Ali Al-Quzi, Mohammad Yahya Mohammad Noah, Ibrahim Mohammad Abdullah Aqil, Mohammad Mohammad Ali Al-Mashkhari, Moaz Abdul Rahman Abdullah Abbas, in addition to the underage person, Abdulaziz Ali Muhammad Al-Aswad, who aged 17 years. This bloody scene raised the fears of Yemenis and the international human rights organizations for the lives of thousands of detainees who stayed in the prisons of the Houthi insurgency for years and lacked even the most basic rights of detention.
Rights Radar calls on the United Nations and the international community, in general, to urgently intervene to save the Yemeni detainees, whose lives are at risk as a result of the illegal Houthi judgements; by putting international pressure on Houthis to prevent them from issuing such decisions in the future. These executions are considered flagrant violations against human rights and war crimes as they are carried out on a political basis. Rights Radar has also called for making serious actions to prosecute the Houthi officials, before the international courts, particularly those who were behind these crimes, who issued such decisions and implemented these unfair judgements.