Journalists Mohammed al-Salahi and Mohammed al-Junaid continue to be detained by the Huthi de facto authorities in Hodeidah, Yemen, despite the expiry of their sentences on June 20, 2022 and July 13, 2022 respectively.
Since their arrest in 2018, the journalists were subjected to a series of gross human rights violations, including enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment such as severe beatings, and denial of access to their lawyer.
Amnesty International urges the Huthi de facto authorities to release Mohammed al-Salahi and Mohammed al-Junaid immediately. Pending their release, they must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
Here’s what you can do:
Write to the spokesperson of the Huthi de facto authorities urging them to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release Mohammed al-Junaid and Mohammed al-Salahi.
- Pending their overdue release, ensure the journalists are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
- Ensure that a prompt, effective and impartial investigation into Mohammed al-Salahi’s claims of torture is carried out, with those found responsible brought to justice in fair trials.
Salutation: Dear Mohamed Abdelsalam,
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
All parties to the conflict, including Huthi forces, the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-led coalition and UAE-backed Yemeni forces have carried out arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance,, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trials.
Over the past eight years, Amnesty International documented the cases of at least 75 journalists, human rights defenders, academics and others perceived as opponents or critics who were subjected to arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, and unfair trials with recourse to the death penalty by the Huthi de facto authorities.
All 75 were targeted because of their work as journalists or for peacefully exercising their human rights including their rights to freedom of expression, association, and belief.
Attack on press freedom
In January 2022, the Huthi de facto authorities raided at least six radio stations in Sana’a and shut them down. The owner of Sawt al-Yemen radio station appealed against the closure before the Journalism and Publishing Court in Sana’a and obtained a court order in July in favor of reopening the station. On July 11, however, security forces raided and shut down the station against and confiscated its broadcasting devices.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, conditions in Huthi-run prisons and detention centers, including mass overcrowding of detention cells, inadequate access to health care, sufficient food, clean water and sanitation, caused Covid-19 to spread, exposing detainees to substantial health risks.
All parties failed to take measures to protect detainees and curb the spread of the virus in prisons and detention centers through the provision of masks or other hygiene products.
Repression of rights
The internationally recognized government of Yemen has also harassed, threatened, and arbitrarily detained journalists, human rights defenders and other activists. In 2022, Amnesty International documented the cases of three journalists prosecuted by the judicial authorities of the internationally recognized government of Yemen in Taiz and Hadramout for publishing content critical of officials and public institutions.
Previously, UAE forces and their Yemeni-government allied armed groups in southern Yemen have been responsible for arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances.
In May 2018, Amnesty International detailed the cases of 51 men held in a network of secret prisons by UAE and Yemeni forces operating outside the command of Yemen’s government, including individuals detained between March 2016 and May 2018.