Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council detained the citizen, "Mohammed Hasan Qaid", forcibly disappeared him, and brutally tortured him before releasing him, which led to his death upon his release as a result of severe torture. The organization called upon the legitimate government to respect people's right to life and human dignity by developing a security policy characterized by responsibility and respect for human rights, as well as activating the principle of criminal accountability. It also called for an urgent investigation into the circumstances of the incident and the need to bring those involved in his torture to a fair trial.
Tawfiq Al-Hamidi, chairperson of SAM Organization, said, “The unaccountability of the armed forces has allowed them to repeat their brutal attacks against defenseless civilians over the past years. The security forces in the southern regions have gained an absolute authority that transcends the law. It became clear that the weakness of the government, including the Presidential Leadership Council, and the fortification of these forces behind influential figures made them exercise brute force without any regard for human dignity or the rule of law.”
the organization indicated in a statement issued today, Monday, that the Yemeni community and human rights activists in Yemen were shocked by the published photos of the victim, Mohammed Hasan Qaid, which showed signs of brutal torture on his body, and that the perpetrators did not take into account his mental illness. Unfortunately, this brutality caused his death yesterday, Sunday, July 16. He died as a result of the severe torture he was subjected to in the prisons of the Southern Transitional Council forces in Abyan Governorate one day after his release from the prison where he was forcibly held for several weeks. The published photos show the ugliness of what is happening inside the prisons, which must be subject to the jurisdiction of the judiciary.
According to "Al-Masdar Online", the citizen, "Mohammed Hasan Abdo Mahdi Qaid", suffers from a mentak illness, in addition to deafness. He worked in selling water and tissues, on the main street in the city of Ataq, the center of Shabwa Governorate, in the southeast of the country, and he also got aid from passers-by.
Mohammed hails from the Hazm al-Odain district in the Ibb governorate, in the center of the country. He has been working in the city of Ataq to support his family for many years, and many of the city's residents know him.
"Al-Masdar Online" stated that the citizen "Mohammed" decided, before the Al-Adha Eid, specifically on June 28, to return to his family to spend the Eid vacation with them. While he was passing through one of the check points in Abyan governorate, he was abducted by the forces of the Southern Transitional Council, which controls the governorate. They placed him in one of their prisons.
"SAM" indicated that, according to local sources, "Mohammed's" family searched for him throughout the past period and published paper advertisements and on social media to finally obtain information that he was in one of the transitional council prisons in Abyan.
A close relative of the victim tells the details of what happened to his brother to Al-Mahreya TV on July 18, “My brother suffered mental illness and had a medical report. He has been known in the city of Ataq for twenty years. He traveled to his hometown, but he disappeared. We searched for him but did not find him. After his disappearance, we asked some activists to post on Facebook and we asked those who knew him to inform us about his fate or if he was imprisoned anywhere. As a result, some people informed us that that he was imprisoned in the city of Ja’ar of Abyan by specialized authorities. We traveled to Abyan governorate looking for him, and they told us that they had taken him out of the central prison to a grocery store in the city of Ja’ar. They said he was waiting for the bus to take him to his hometown in Ibb Governorate, but he ran away, leaving his clothes in the grocery store. After that, the police took him to Modya, and “we received a call that your brother is now detained in the city of Modya.” We went to Modya to look for him where they told us that he was detained in a prison of the Security Belt in Modya. We contacted the security operations in Abyan governorate, and they told us that he was in the mountain in the Security Belt detention center. So we went to Modiya and asked the people about him, but no one gave us any information. They told us this person was detained by them, and they released him. They said he went to Al-Bayda. Then a person told us to go a sheikh in the area and told us that the sheikh was the one who would help us. We went to the sheikh and he did what needed to be done. On the second day, they brought him to the sheikh's house, and it was obvious that he was tortured and his body was covered by signs of torture and burn.”
According to Al-Masdar Online, as soon as his family members knew his whereabouts, one of his relatives traveled with another person to Abyan Governorate to search for Mohammed. They found him in a prison of the Southern Transitional Council in Ja’ar, and his health condition was poor. His relatives confirmed that the detainee was subjected to torture, brutal beatings, and burning in separate parts of his body in the prisons of those forces, and that the members of that force lit fireworks in his deaf ear. The victim's family told Al-Masdar Online that they received the victim the day before yesterday, Saturday, from the security belt prison in Abyan. Additionally, they received threats that if they talked about the crime, “they will be killed”. The family returned him to the city of Ataq, to arrange for his return to Ibb governorate, but he was groaning in a faint voice of pain. He passed away on Sunday.
Mohammed al-Awlaki, an activist, said on his twitter account, “I personally know the citizen Mohammed Hasan Abdo Mahdi Qaid, nicknamed (Hanash), from the Ibb governorate. He was a nice man working in the city of Ataq for many years. During his travel, he was arrested at one of the points in Abyan on suspicion. His family continued to search for him from the moment of his disappearance. While he was detained, he was tortured in such a brutal way that he died upon his release from prison in a hospital.”
Some activists had published on social media announcing the disappearance of the victim, on July 9, before finding out where he was disappeared. Abu Dhiab Al-Khulaifi published a missing person announcement on July 9 and he said, “Mohammed Hasan Abdo Mahdi Qaied, from Ibb Hazm Al-Odain Governorate, has been missing in the city of Ataq for a week. The man is sick and suffers mental illness. Whoever finds him should contact his family on this number.”
The organization stresses that the information received about the kidnapping of citizen "Mohammed" shows brutality and a gross violation of human rights, amounting to a crime against humanity. It also reflects a sadistic mentality dangerous to society, which requires a serious stand against the practice of abuse. The Southern Transitional Council should take actions, particularly regarding prisons and detention centers. SAM also stressed that what happened with the victim was a violation of the most important and prominent international conventions that criminalize arbitrary detention, torture, kidnapping outside the framework of the law, and enforced disappearance.
The law has prohibited the crime of torture as it affects physical and mental integrity because it is a cruel and brutal method that degrades human dignity to extract a confession or to intimidate. International conventions dealt with this crime, particularly the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as a crime against humanity.
SAM confirms that the hate speech used by some TV channels and social media against a person because of his position or geographical area has become a threat to the Yemeni social fabric and this discourse must be reconsidered. Furthermore, military leaders have transformed into more like princes of regions who exercise state powers from collecting levies and detentions and taking special prisons for violators. This phenomenon has contributed to the spread of many violations against innocent people. Therefore, the Presidential Leadership Council must take sides with the dignity of the citizen and the law.
SAM concluded its statement by calling on the Southern Transitional Council to open a serious and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the kidnapping and torture of citizen "Mohammed" that led to his death. It also stressed that the Council was required to provide full explanations to the victim's family and financial compensation for the murder while ensuring that those involved are brought to trial.