SAM Organization Reveals Torture to Death Incidents Inside Houthis Prisons SAM
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SAM Organization Reveals Torture to Death Incidents Inside Houthis Prisons

  
  
  
    
22/09/2020

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that the Houthis militia forcibly disappears dozens of civilians from Sa’da and Amran governorates, and practice cruel torture that led to the death of two of them; Sadiq Ahmed Yahya Al Ghawi, 37, who died on June 26, 2020, in a Houthi prison in Sana'a and Mohamed Abdullah Mohsen Salba, died on Monday, August 31, 2020, in a Houthi prison in Hajjah.

SAM said that the Houthis militia arrested more than ten citizens of Sa’da Governorate from inside their homes for unknown reasons during April 30 to May 20, 2020, according to SAM monitors, the detainees are Sadiq Ahmed Yahya Al Ghawi, 37, who died under torture, and his brother Amin Ahmed Yahya Al Ghawi, 30, Abdullah Hussein Yahya Al Ghawi, 39, Essam Hussein Yahya Al Ghawi, 33, Muhammad Hussain Yahya, 28, Nasir Hussain Yahya Al Ghawi, 23, Abdul Razzaq Ahmed Al Ghawi, 43, Zubair Muhammad Al Ghawi, 28, and Mohammed Naji Ahmed Al Ghawi, 28, also arrested a number of his neighbors, whose names could not be identified by SAM.

According to testimonies documented by the SAM organization, seven masked persons came to the house of the victim, Sadiq Ahmed Al-Ghawi, located in Al-Maharba, in the Sahar district on April 30, 2020, in a military vehicle belonging to the General Security, and they took him from the house without giving reasons, only they told him that he was wanted by the security authorities and they forcibly disappeared him since then, despite his family inquiries to the security authorities, but in vain, until the date of September 16, 2020, when an unknown person called Sadiq's father, informing him that his son had died and that his body was in the morgue of the police hospital in Sanaa, which is controlled by the militia since September 2014, and according to a source in the hospital, the body of Sadiq Al-Ghawi was brought on June 26, 2020, with signs of torture, including signs of hanging, and kept in the hospital morgue that contains other unidentified bodies with signs of torture, and according to the same source, the Houthi militia sent a person called; Abu Abdullah al-Saken to the police hospital to meet the victim's family after they refused to receive the body, who showed the family of the deceased a picture of the victim, claiming that he had committed suicide by hanging himself in the prison. One of the family members received a call from Amin, brother of the deceased Sadiq, requesting the family to receive and burying his brother’s body. The family also received a promise from the person who met them in the hospital to release Amin if they agreed to receive Sadiq’s body and bury it.

On August 31, 2020, the abductee Mohmed Abdullah Mohsen Salba, died in the prisons of the Houthis militia, just four days after he was abducted from the city of Hajjah on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Witnesses told SAM monitors that Mohmed was in the Houra area in the center of Hajjah, next to the Agriculture Office, going to buy dinner for his young children, when he was stopped by a car with five masked Houthi gunmen driven by a person called Fadhail, and took him to the house of Islah leader, Mahdi Jaber Al-Hatef, turned by Houthis into prison for torture and enforced disappearance, where they ordered him to get in their car showing arrest warrant against him, issued by Abdul Qadir al-Na’mi, director of the criminal investigation in the governorate, then they took him to the Political Security, and the security director of Hajjah Muhammad Hammoud Salba, who is related to the victim, came to him, then he was returned to Al-Hatef house.

Relatives of the victim believe that Salba was subjected to torments during the four days of his enforced disappearance. They cut off the veins in his hands, left him bleed to death, and stabbed him in the legs and neck.

The Salba family was looking for him everywhere, including the known prisons in Hajjah, but they could not find him. Then one of his relatives received a call from a supervisor of the Houthi militia, nicknamed "Abu Nayef Al-Kharfasha", ordering him to inform the victim's brother and father to come to Al-Hatef house, to receive the victim's body, claiming that he committed suicide and cut his veins himself, and Abu Nayef Al-Kharfasha is the security supervisor appointed by Abu Ali Al-Hakim, the prominent Houthi military and security official, and they are responsible for many crimes of torture to death, field executions and the bombing of homes.

Although one of the victim's brothers is a member to the Houthi militia, he was unable to receive his brother’s body, as the militia required them to sign a waiver report and acknowledge that their son died of suicide, despite the presence of signs of torture on his body, including his poked eyes.

The family says that the victim's mother and his eldest daughter have lost consciousness and have been receiving treatment since they heard the news of his death under torture.

"The allegation that the victims committed suicide has become an excuse for the Houthis militia, which is trying to cover-up their crimes under such pretext," said lawyer Omar Al-Hemyari, who is in charge of the organization’s legal committee.

Al-Hemyari added, "The crimes of torture to death in Houthis prisons are not just individual practices, rather, a systematic policy, led to the death of 154 civilians, according to SAM reports."

Al-Hemyari stated that among the cases documented by SAM of detainees who died under torture in Houthis prisons during this year, is the death of the detainee Ali Abdullah Hassan Al-Ammari, in March 2020, in the Political Security prison in Sana'a as a result of severe torture by the Houthi militia.

Also, the death of the detainee, Ahmed Taher Ahmed Jamil, in March 2020, in the militia's prisons in Al-Saleh city, Al-Houban, Taiz Governorate, under torture, about two weeks after his arrest by the Houthi militia. SAM also documented the death of detainee Ahmed Muhammad Al-Sahaqi in August 2020, in the prisons of the Houthi militia in Dhamar Governorate.

SAM called for an international investigation into the crimes of systematic torture in Houthis prisons and to bring perpetrators into justice, and ensure that criminals will not enjoy impunity, noting that torture is a crime against humanity according to international humanitarian law.