Political Detainees in Mukalla Stage Hunger Strike Due to Rights Deprivation
  • 26/01/2024
  •  https://samrl.org/l?e5157 
    SAM |

    Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties stated in a press release issued today, Friday, January 26th, that detainees in the political security facility in Al-Mukalla, Hadramawt have begun a hunger strike due to being deprived of their rights, deteriorating humanitarian conditions, increased violence by the administration of the political prison against them, in addition to the obstinacy of the prosecution in releasing dozens of individuals who have been granted release orders. The authorities in Hadramawt must immediately release all detainees who have been issued court orders for release, without any conditions or restrictions, and they bear full responsibility towards all detainees.

    "Tawfiq Al-Hamidi," the President of SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, said, "The information we receive about the announcement of collective disobedience by dozens of detainees in the political prison in Al-Mukalla, as a result of being deprived of their basic rights and the failure to implement release orders for many of them, is a serious development that necessitates immediate intervention by the international community, without waiting for any political or international efforts. He emphasized that delaying the intervention process would hold the international community responsible for what may happen if the protests of the detainees escalate."

    In a statement issued today, Friday, "SAM" emphasized that it is closely monitoring with concern and anticipation the field developments inside the prison following the detainees' implementation of disobedience and their refusal to enter their cells in protest against their inhumane conditions. These conditions include narrow cell spaces, inadequate lighting, lack of ventilation, and absence of sanitation services, which have contributed to the deterioration of the health condition of dozens of detainees there.

    The human rights organization mentioned that it has reviewed a written message issued by the detainees in the political prison in Al-Mukalla, addressed to the Attorney General, the Governor of Hadramawt, and the Chief Prosecutor of Hadramawt. In the message, the detainees urgently request the intervention of these authorities to improve their conditions inside the prison, which has witnessed a deterioration in the provision of humanitarian services and deprivation of basic rights, such as access to food, medication, and sanitation services. They are also deprived of close contact with their families without barriers or restrictions, and the visitation is limited to only once a month. It is worth noting that there are detainees who have had release orders issued by the court for several years.

    The message also highlighted "the prevention of dozens of detainees from being transferred to hospitals and receiving urgent medical procedures, which has contributed to the deterioration of the health conditions of many detainees and worsened their suffering from illness and difficult detention conditions."

    The detainees in their message also pointed out that "there are dozens of individuals held in the political prison in Al-Mukalla for years, despite judicial rulings acquitting them and ordering their release. However, the obstinacy of the Public Prosecution in Hadramawt has prevented the implementation of the court's verdict of their innocence without any legal justification."

    In response, the SAM organization stated that the harsh conditions and the inhumane treatment have forced the detainees on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024, to make the decision to carry out their disobedience and refuse to enter their cells, which lack basic human necessities. They have chosen to remain in the prison courtyard until their legitimate rights are fulfilled, including the provision of food, clean water, and the repair of the cells, which the prison administration has promised for more than five years but without any tangible results.

    Meanwhile, the administration of the political prison in Mukalla promised the prisoners that it would ask for a large force and shoot them if they refused to enter the cells.

    The human rights organization emphasizes that the continued detention of a large number of detainees in the political prison in Al-Mukalla, despite court orders for their release, some of which were issued three years ago or more, constitutes a violation of human rights. It represents an arbitrary and unlawful form of detention. Furthermore, depriving the detainees of their basic rights, such as food, healthcare, and sanitation, demonstrates inhumane treatment by those authorities. It also signifies a serious breach of guaranteed rights according to the principles of international law.

    The organization highlighted that the detainees' exposure to torture, delays in their release, and their declaration of collective disobedience are a direct result of the deteriorating humanitarian conditions inside the political prison. The responsible authorities, particularly the Hadramawt Governorate and Public Prosecution, bear full responsibility and should be held accountable if the lives of these detainees or some of them further deteriorate.

    SAM concluded its statement by calling on the authorities in Hadramawt to urgently conduct a visit to assess the conditions of the detainees and ensure the provision of basic humanitarian services to them. They also urged for the release of the detainees and the prosecution of those responsible for disregarding the judicial decisions. SAM emphasized that the negative stance and continuous silence of the international community have implicitly provided cover for the conflicting parties in Yemen to perpetrate violations against civilians.


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