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Good News: Yemeni judge released from detention

On June 12, 2024, the Huthi de facto authorities released Yemeni judge Abdulwahab Mohammad Qatran after more than five months of arbitrary detention at the Huthi-run security and intelligence detention center in Sana’a, Yemen. After his arrest on January 2, 2024, he was forcibly disappeared for three days, placed in solitary confinement, and denied access to a lawyer.

Judge Qatran, a vocal critic of the Huthi authorities’ policies and human rights violations, was detained on January 2, 2024. Huthi security forces broke into his house on al Zira’a Street in Sana’a without a warrant. They threatened his family, pointed guns at his sons, handcuffed them, and held the judge and his sons in separate military vehicles for hours. The security forces searched the house and confiscated phones, laptops, and private documents. They also held the judge’s wife, her sister, and her daughter in a room and coerced his wife into signing an interrogation record without reading it.

The judge was arrested around 5:30 pm, while his sons were released. One of his sons reported seeing a car filled with alcohol bottles displayed to the neighborhood as allegedly found in the judge’s house to justify his arrest. The Yemeni Penal Code criminalizes the manufacturing and drinking of alcohol.

Judge Qatran was forcibly disappeared for three days until the authorities confirmed to his family that he was held at the security and intelligence detention center in Sana’a.

In a message to Amnesty International, Judge Qatran thanked the organization for supporting him.