Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties has condemned the smear and attacks it has been subjected to through news sites belonging to Arab and local parties to the conflict, stressing that those campaigns would not discourage it from exercising its role in exposing and revealing violations committed by those parties against Yemeni civilians for years.
In a statement issued today Wednesday, the organization said that the most recent campaign was through the so-called "Kittaf" axis, a military force comprising a number of brigades and supervised by Saudi forces. Through social media, pages and groups belonging to that military force have incited the organization and its workers to close its premises on the grounds that the human rights organization is affiliated with the Houthi group and is implementing an Iranian agenda , following the latest report published by the organization, which highlighted the most significant violations against combatants carried out by the leadership of those brigades. At the same time, it emphasizes that this campaign is aimed at distracting the international community and interested jurists after SAM reported harrowing testimonies and stories about some of the violations taking place in the southern border of Yemen.
The organization highlighted the fact that its maiming was not recent, as SAM had in earlier times been subjected to multiple smear campaigns and attacks led by local and Arab parties, stressing that such campaigns were escalating after the issuance of rights reports exposing appalling violations against civilians. The organization was accused of being part of ISIS by the Houthi controlled Althawra newspaper on 16 February 2020, after the organization issued a report on the Houthi group's "al-Saleh detention facility" in Taiz governorate.
The organization was also accused of following the “Muslim Brotherhood” by some Saudi and Emirati newspapers following the issuance of secret prison reports on May 2017, other baseless accusations carry conflicting trends at the same time.
SAM stated that the campaign to attack and restrict the organization's work was not limited to the information side through maiming, but rather to the organization's working groups inside Yemen. Over the past years, the organization has confirmed that the monitoring and research Group has been subjected to prosecutions and threats of arrest and liquidation, noting that the Houthi Group arrested one of the members of the Monitoring Group, Ali Ghalib Alansi, on 14 March 2017, without any proven legal charge.
SAM pointed out that Ali Alansi had been subjected to three months of torture in order to force him to admit that he was working for the Arab Coalition forces, stressing that the information which Ali had mentioned in a letter he had leaked from inside the prison where he was imprisoned showing the significant deterioration in his health status confirms the fact that he is diabetic, with Ali referring to the refusal of prison personnel to allow him to visit a doctor or to present himself to a medical committee, stating that he is now being held in an overcrowded cell with insufficient ventilation or nutrition.
For his part, Tawfiq Al-Hamidi, President of SAM for Rights and Liberties, said that "the smear campaigns against the organization are not new and will not be the last as long as we continue to uncover the details of the horrific violations committed by the parties to the conflict, which are previously aware of the horrors and atrocities committed against Yemeni civilians without legal justification.
In his statement, Al Hamidi added: "It is strange that some parties to the conflict are basing accusations against their opponents on our reports, but when we address violations by those parties, they attack us, demonstrating the selectivity of the parties in exploiting the discourse of law to achieve personal interests and to fuel international opinion at the expense of the suffering of the Yemenis.
SAM concluded by stressing that smear campaigns it has been subjected to emphasize the importance of its role in exposing violations and practices of civilians by parties to the conflict, holding the abettors of the Organization fully responsible for what the Organization's personnel may be exposed to, and its legal right to prosecute all those behind the incitement campaign, calling on the international community to play its part in halting all forms of violations over the years and to work for the full protection of the legal team of the organization.