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Yemen: Free detained judge, Abdulwahab Mohammad Qatran

On January 2, 2024, Abdulwahab Mohammad Qatran, a Yemeni judge known for criticizing the Huthi authorities, was forcefully taken from his home in Sana’a by Huthi security forces. They threatened his family, questioned them for hours without a lawyer, and then made the judge disappear for three days. He’s now held alone in a Huthi detention center in Sana’a, without access to legal representation. He should be released immediately without conditions.

Here’s what you can do:

Write to the Huthi de facto authorities urging them to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release judge Abdulwahab Mohammad Qatran as he is detained solely for peacefully exercising his human rights.
  • Pending his release, ensure he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that he has access to legal representation, regular family contact and adequate healthcare.

Write to:

Ansarullah Spokesperson Mohamed Abdelsalam

Email: mdabdalsalam@gmail.com

Salutation: Dear Mohamed Abdelsalam,

X: @abdusalamsalah

And copy:

His Excellency Jamal Abdullah Yahya AL-SALLAL


Embassy of the Republic of Yemen

54 Chamberlain Avenue

Ottawa, ON K1S 1V9

Tel: (613) 729-6627 Fax: (613) 729-8915

Email: yeminfo@yemenembassy.ca


Judge Abdulwahab Mohammad Qatran openly criticized the Huthi authorities. He used X (formerly known as Twitter) to highlight their human rights abuses and questioned their actions in the Red Sea. On December 31, 2023, he posted a message saying the Huthis weren’t authorized by Yemen’s 30 million people to confront the US. His son mentioned that after this, Huthi supporters threatened the judge.

After his arrest, his family sought help. They reached out to the Supreme Judicial Council, the parliament, and the Ministry of Human Rights, asking for his release. Yet, they’ve heard nothing back.

Arresting someone without fair reason goes against Yemen’s laws and international agreements Yemen has agreed to. Judges, like everyone else, have the right to speak freely and gather. The UN says judges should have these freedoms too.

Yemen’s laws from 1991 protect judges, saying they can’t just be arrested without a proper go-ahead from the Supreme Judicial Council. But the judge’s lawyer found out that these protections were ignored after his arrest, which shouldn’t happen according to the law.

All groups in Yemen’s conflict, including the Huthis, the official government, and the Southern Transitional Council, have wrongfully detained people, made them disappear, harassed, tortured them, and held unfair trials.

Amnesty International has been keeping track since 2015. They’ve seen many journalists, activists, scholars, and others who were arrested for no good reason, mistreated, made to disappear, or unfairly tried by the Huthis. These people were targeted just because they were doing their jobs or peacefully standing up for their rights.

Please take action as soon as possible until April 12, 2024! The UA will be duly updated should there be the need for further action.