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A Year after the Execution
The Execution of 10 Yemenis in the Case of the Killing of Saleh Al-Samad was an Extrajudicial Execution with a Judicial Cover

  
  
  
    
19/09/2022

Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties stated that the international community is required to prove its seriousness by stopping human rights violations inside Yemen and working on forming a special committee to bring to justice those involved from the Houthi group in the execution of 10 Yemenis last year after accusing them of killing the former head of the group's Supreme Political Council, "Saleh Al-Samad" and his escorts. The organization emphasized that the silence of the international community would give the green light to the Houthi group to further its violations, which are witnessing a continuous escalation in the country.

The organization indicated in a statement issued today, Sunday - coinciding with the one-year anniversary of mass execution carried out by the Houthi group which claimed the lives of 10 Yemenis on Saturday, September 18, 2021, the group executed ten civilians, who are: "Muhammad Quzi, Muhammad Noah, Ibrahim Akil, Ali al-Quzi, Abd al-Malik Hamid, Moaz Abbas, Abd al-Aziz al-Aswad, Muhammad al-Mashkhari" in front of journalists and hundreds of attendees in an inhumane manner, violating all international covenants and laws that guarantee the protection of the right to life and human dignity.

"SAM" stated that it did not trust what the Houthi group had stated about the issuance of verdicts by judicial authorities, especially since the trial phase witnessed a continuous and unjustified restriction of the defendants and their defense representatives who were not able to get their right to a defense. Rather, the Court of First Instance surprised them that they had only three consecutive sessions in just two weeks. When the 10 people demanded the judge’s dismissal as a result of that wilful violation of the right of defense and as a result of him issuing a decision to change the case and claim facts and actions contrary to the indictment, he reserved the case for judgment before the accused and their defense representatives submitted any defense memorandum and were able to present their defense evidence.

The human rights organization pointed out that despite the petitions submitted by the defendants and their lawyers before the Court of Appeal and the fundamental aspects of defense they raised, and despite their request from the Court of Appeal to enable them to present their evidence confirming their innocence and the falsification of the accusation against them, that court rejected these requests and rushed to shut down the door of justice in the face of the defendants and their defense representatives and refrained from hearing their evidence and defenses, and reserved the case for judgment without guaranteeing their right to defense and without providing them with a fair trial.

"SAM" indicated that the Court of Appeal corrected the initial judgment and the indictment issued by the Public Prosecution from the shortcomings and invalidity that accompanied it. Where the court took on the task of correcting the case by adding facts and actions attributed to the accused and took control of them and thus combined the opposites of the opponent and the judgment. Furthermore, the court even stated that it had refrained from hearing their evidence and enabling them to defend themselves because it had formed its prior conviction with the evidence obtained during the period of their enforced disappearance and the confiscation of their freedom.

The human rights organization stresses that the repeated executions carried out by the Houthi group come in parallel with a disturbing international silence regarding these flagrant violations. This is what this group considers an implicit cover for its repeated crimes against civilians, especially extrajudicial executions, as the armed militia claims that its rulings bear the legal form because they are issued by moot courts that implement what is required of them without observing fair trial guarantees and the right of the accused to defend themselves.

“SAM” concluded its statement by calling on the international community to form a special committee to bring those involved from the Houthi group to the International Criminal Court for committing a crime against humanity against the 10 people. “SAM” also stressed the importance of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Yemen, the UN envoy and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to move seriously and pressure the Houthi group to stop judicial rulings that violate international law as these trials contain flagrant violations of fair trial guarantees and deprive individuals of providing adequate defenses.