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The Presidential Leadership Council s Silence is an Implicit Cover for Violations against Journalists
STC Forces are Leading a Terrifying Crackdown against Journalists by Publishing a Video of the Kidnapped Journalist Ahmed Maher

  
  
  
    
05/09/2022

Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that it viewed with great seriousness and concern the continued violations and illegal practices carried out by individuals and forces of the Transitional Council against civilians, especially journalists. The organization stresses that these practices constitute a violation that requires international accountability, calling at the same time the Transitional Council to release all detainees - especially journalists - unconditionally.

The organization indicated in a statement issued today, Sunday, that it closely followed the appearance of journalist "Ahmed Maher" arbitrarily kidnapped by forces affiliated with the Transitional Council in a video footage while he confessed to committing bombings and assassinations, stressing that such practices are a serious indication of the extent of the threats surrounding Yemeni journalists in the areas under the control of the Transitional Council.

"SAM" confirmed that the journalist "Maher" left Aden after the Transitional Council had taken control of it in 2019, after the issuance of an arrest warrant from the Dar Saad police of the Transitional Council forces, due to his writings and publications, according to what the journalist mentioned in a post on his account on August 18, 2018.  “SAM” indicated that the video footage has been published recently after the journalist was arbitrarily arrested by these forces which stormed his home in the Mansoura district on August 7, 2022, and he was arbitrarily detained with his brother and forcibly disappeared before he appeared in a video published by the security services while bearing signs of torture to confess to committing such serious crimes.

The organization highlighted that the security establishment in Aden has become a tool of the political conflict, which is not much different from its counterparts in Sana’a under the control of the Houthi militia. It also called on the armed services of the Transitional Council to stop harassing and arresting journalists and political opponents because of their opinions and positions and stressed the importance of providing the right for everyone to express their opinions and express political opposition.

"SAM" stated that its concern stems from the fact that such practices have been observed in previous evidence, where the Transitional Council and its forces have arrested many civilians on charges such as committing assassination or supporting the Houthi group without any legal basis. Then they are released after long periods without being tried, as happened in the case of the 14 detainees who were accused of assassinating imams in Aden and then were acquitted, yet the order to release them has not been implemented until this moment.

"SAM" stresses that the continued absence of the role of the law agencies and the legitimate government in coordinating and following up with the Transitional Council regarding the violations of its forces against civilians, especially journalists, gave these militias an implicit cover to continue their violations, warning of the danger of the continued local and international silence when such incidents reoccurred, which indicates serious violations against journalists that must be remedied urgently.

For its part, "SAM" stressed that these practices are a flagrant violation of a set of legal rules, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Rome Charter forming the International Criminal Court and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which criminalizes the violation of the right to life, physical integrity and freedom from arrest, emphasizing that the Transitional Council and the UAE are guilty of violating these legal rules.

“SAM” concluded its statement by calling on all parties to the conflict to stop their violations and to hold the individuals involved in these repressive practices accountable, reiterating its call to the UAE and Saudi Arabia to stop their full support for the militants immediately and withdraw from the state of Yemen.

The international organization also called on the international community to intervene and provide full protection for civilians, especially journalists, and to compel all parties to the conflict to end their repeated violations against civilians and to form a fact-finding committee on the repercussions of repeated violations by those parties.