SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, based in "Geneva", said that government forces in Taiz governorate must abide by their constitutional and legal duties, and follow the legal path in taking any measures related to detention. SAM also calls on them to stop using their influence to harm others and to resort to the law in all private disputes with others and the commitment to implement human rights standards during detention operations for people. It also called for the closure of all private prisons owned by government forces in the city of Taiz.
The official of Yemen's file in SAM said: "Government forces and all their units and members must not use their military positions to settle personal scores with their opponents, and protection and safety must be provided for the work of human rights and humanitarian activists in Taiz. In addition, the procedures used by battalion leaders and a group of recruits in the 170th Air Defense Brigade against the human rights and humanitarian activist Jalal Al-Din Al-Khulani from the arrest, detention, confiscation of his private tools and his disappearance in a private prison, all of which are in violation of Yemeni law and do not comply with the standards of arrest and detention stipulated in human rights charters.
On the evening of Friday, July 23, 2021, a group of armed men kidnapped the humanitarian activist Jalal Al-Din Al-Khawlani, confiscated his car, his private phones, and other items that were with him, in the Nasiriyah neighborhood in the center of Taiz, and put him in a private prison located in a building owned by a displaced citizen before being transferred to another prison in the Bakathir Public School. These two prisons belong to the 3rd Battalion in the 170th Air Defense Brigade, which is led by Hammam Marie with the help of another commander named Osama Al-Qardei.
According to one of the victim's relatives, the armed group affiliated with that military brigade had previously detained Jalal al-Din earlier in May on the basis of a special case. He was only released with a sum of money.
The organization obtained documents issued by the Criminal Investigation Department in Taiz and the Taiz Police Department requesting the leadership of the Taiz axis to send the victim, Jalal al-Din al-Khulani, who is detained in the Bakathir School Prison of the 3rd Battalion in the 170th Air Defense Brigade, led by Hammam Marie, and to send those recruits in that brigade accused of the kidnapping to the Department of Criminal investigation to proceed with investigation procedures. "SAM" learned that the accused were not arrested, and the leadership of the Taiz axis did not release the victim or refer him to the Public Prosecution, given that the kidnappers belong to one of the military brigades of the Taiz axis. Furthermore, the victim's fate has not been revealed until now while his relatives have not been able to visit him or find out his fate.
"SAM" considers this behavior of the military authorities in violation of the charters regulating human rights and the Yemeni laws that regulate the procedures and methods of detention and arrest of persons and the necessity of issuing judicial orders to that effect. It also considers the failure to disclose the victim's fate as a serious violation of human rights, and his disappearance until this moment is an indication of the military leaders' indifference in Taiz to their legal and humanitarian duties in adhering to the laws and covenants related to preserving people's freedoms and dignity.
Keeping the military authorities on private prisons that are not under the authority of the Public Prosecution puts big question marks, as it is not acceptable in any way to keep private prisons open, and through them special accounts are settled for those involved in these forces with their opponents, activists and civilians in Taiz.
"SAM" calls on the command of the Taiz axis and the command of the 170th Air Defense Brigade to refer all those involved in the detention and disappearance of the human rights and humanitarian activist Jalal al-Din al-Khawlani to the judiciary, and to close the Bakathir Public School prison as well as returning it to the Department of Education so that students can continue their education there. It also calls for the closure of the prison for this armed group, which is located in a building owned by a citizen in the Rawda neighborhood.
The organization holds the government forces in Taiz responsible for the safety of the activist al-Khawlani, and calls for his release and the return of all the tools that were confiscated from him, and to stop practicing this violating behavior towards activists or the civilian population and calls for the rule of law in all actions it takes.