SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, called today, Saturday, May 9, 2020, on the Saudis authorities to disclose the fate of an official in the Yemeni legitimate government and a Yemeni citizen who have been forcibly disappeared for several weeks.
The organization said in a press statement that Abdulkareem Hussein Ali Thu’ail, 35, the first deputy governor of Sanaa in the legitimate government has been forcibly disappeared since March 12, during his return to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through Seyun airport in Hadhramout accompanied by his wife and infant son.
SAM stated that Thu’ail was arrested at Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia by persons believed to be affiliated with Saudi intelligence, where he was then transferred to Al-Safarat neighborhood police station before he was subsequently made to disappear and his whereabouts is unknown since then.
According to testimonies from sources close to Thu’ail, on anonymity condition, Thu’ail, was arrested after returning from a field visit to the frontlines in Marib, where two men in military uniform approached him at Jeddah airport and told him that there is a report on him, and then took him and left his wife alone with her infant.
The sources stated that Thu’ail was transferred to the Al-Safarat police station after his arrest at Jeddah airport, and many sheikhs and officials tried to communicate with the concerned authorities, to find out what happened, but to no avail.
One of Thu’ail's friends said that there is a concern about his fate as his family does not know his whereabouts, or the reason for his detention and no one has been allowed to visit him, while the family fears that his arrest will be due to a false allegation, since there are differences between him and some officials in the legitimate government that reached the Saudi judiciary.
The organization confirmed that it had seen appeals by the sheikhs and members of the Supreme Council of Resistance in Sana'a governorate to King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Yemeni President Abdu Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, and the chief of the General Staff, the commander of Joint Operations, that stated that Thu’ail is a holder of diplomatic passport and had a prominent role in standing against Houthis militia and in defense of legitimacy and the Coalition and demanded his release.
Within the same context, the Organization revealed the arrest of the Saudi authorities on April 21, 2020, of Hisham Muhammad Ahmad Al-Jaberi, 25, a Yemeni, from his relative’s house in Riyadh.
One of Hisham's friends stated that his family is trying in vain through intermediaries to identify his whereabouts, and only knew that he was taken to the General Investigation Department, which is specialized in state security and serious cases.
Tawfiq Al-Humeidi, head of the Organization, said that the Saudi authorities should disclose the whereabouts of Abdulkaree Thu’ail and Hisham Al-Jaberi and inform their families about reason of their detention.
Al-Humeidi stated that the detention of Yemenis in the recent period in Saudi Arabia has turned into a disturbing phenomenon, whether civilians or soldiers, and that the organization has received dozens of reports, including officers and fighters in the southern border, protesting against the salaries’ cuts.
He stressed that this behavior - enforced disappearance - has become a means of terrorism, fear and intimidation, that extends to the families and relatives of the victims.
SAM emphasized that international human rights law protects basic rights, and protect civilians from arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture, as the Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance stated noting that “as people who are forcibly disappeared are more likely to be tortured because they are at the mercy of their captors outside the protection of the law, and there are no formal guarantees require a person to meet a third party periodically, for example a judge.”
SAM renewed call to Saudi Arabia to disclosure immediately of the whereabouts of the disappeared Yemenis in its prisons, such as journalist Marwan Al-Muraisi, who has been detained since June 2018, and Brigadier Rashad Al-Humairi, who has been detained since 2017, and to stop arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance of Yemenis, civilians and military personnel, including soldiers Fighters in the southern border.
SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, Geneva
May 9, 2020