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In conjunction with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
SAM calls for the dismantling of the torture system and the establishment of an independent body to deal with the affairs of detainees, forcibly disappeared and victims of torture

  
  
  
    
26/06/2022

On June 26 of each year, the world stands in solidarity with victims of torture, which is one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings and seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being.1

Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.2

The organization confirmed that seven years of conflict in Yemen have left horrific torture violations which are practiced by all the parties to the conflict without any exception. The organization also stressed that first line leaders of the Houthi group or in the Presidential Transitional Council are holed up in their positions from criminal accountability and evade justice at the expense of torture victims.

The organization stated that by listening to the testimony of survivors of torture, they became fully convinced that all those who were subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance in connection with the conflict in Yemen were exposed to torture, whether in the prisons of the Houthi group or in the illegal prisons supervised by UAE-backed forces in southern Yemen and Saudi forces, or in the prisons of the legitimate government in Marib, or the prisons of armed groups.

Testimonies confirmed that victims of torture were subjected to various cruel types of psychological and physical torture as they languish in jails that lack the most basic legal and humanitarian conditions. These detainees do not receive the basic needs of food, clothing or medicine.

In its statement, "SAM" emphasized that many of the detention centers have become dark chapters in the history of torture in Yemen where dozens of illegal and secret detention centers are dedicated to enforced disappearance and the practice of systematic and cruel torture are spread, such as the prisons of the Political Security and National Security, Al-Ameriya Castle in Radaa, the Corniche Castle in Al-Hodeidah, and the Houthi-run Al-Saleh detention center, the prisons of Bir Ahmed, Waddah and Coalition in Aden, the former Rayyan airport in Hadramout, Al-Tin prison in Seiyun, the prisons of Azzan and Belhaf which affiliate with the UAE forces and their militias, the legitimate government- affiliated prisons of the Institute and Political Security prison in the city of Marib as well as other prisons belonging to armed groups where various types of torture and torture resulting in death are practiced against arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons.

The organization also elicited from the survivors’ testimonies the most important methods of torture represented by kicking, beating with batons, metal bars, burning and deprivation of food and water. These methods also included mock executions, suspension by hanging for long hours, sexual harassment, the use of sniffer dogs, burial in sandpits, the use of stimulant drugs, spraying with cold water, denial of visitation, and show trials.

SAM said that all statistics related to torture remained estimates and did not reflect the true extent of the crime, especially in the absence of national and international protection tools, and the transformation of the judiciary into a tool of political conflict. The organization confirmed that it had documented the death of more than 208 cases due to torture in prisons of all parties in Yemen.

The organization indicated that many women were exposed to torture in the prisons of the Houthi militia in the capital, Sana’a, where they are subjected to immoral methods and horrific physical and mental torture, such as depriving them of the sun, preventing them from using toilets except once or twice a day, and interrogating them for long periods of time in the late hours of the night, in addition to electrocuting, beating with sticks or batons, spraying with cold water, hitting them in the face and denailig, not to mention the psychological torture that happened to them, and the last of these cases was the model Intisar Al Hammadi.

"SAM" pointed out to the increase in systematic torture in the prisons of the parties to the conflict in Yemen, whether the Houthi militia in their areas of control, including the southern border detainees in Houthi prisons in Sana'a who are considered prisoners of war and thus must be treated according to the Geneva Convention, or the security formations funded and supervised by the United Arab Emirates or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where torture is relied upon as an effective means to extract confessions and as a tool to abuse and humiliate opponents.

"SAM" noted that thousands of victims and their families need direct medical, psychological, humanitarian, social and legal assistance. Therefore, SAM organization suggests establishing an independent commission for the affairs of detainees, forcibly disappeared and victims of torture, to provide material, psychological and legal support to victims of torture in prisons and their families.

SAM stressed the need to hold the perpetrators of the crime of torture accountable and that the perpetrators should not be allowed to go unpunished under any justification, including the peace process. It also emphasized the need for the Special Rapporteur on torture to open a serious investigation into the crimes of torture in Yemen, to work to ensure that appropriate penalties are imposed against those responsible and to ensure the dismantling of the system that supports torture. It also called on the UN envoy to pressure to move the file of detainees in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement, stressing that it is in contact with the investigation committees on Yemen to include the violators in the lists of indictments.

 SAM called, in its statements, for the necessity of forming a black list that includes all perpetrators of torture crimes from all parties in Yemen, and working to bring them to the International Criminal Court for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity based on the Rome International Charter.

The organization also called upon all parties to abide by international laws and charters and to spare civilians unjustified violations by the parties to the conflict, and the need for the international community, especially the Security Council and the United Nations to assume their legal and moral responsibilities towards protecting the rights of individuals in Yemen.

1,2 UN website

 

https://www.un.org/ar/observances/torture-victims-day

 

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