Addressing UN on Denial of Fair Trial Rights for Victims in Yemen
  • 30/01/2024
    SAM |

    SAM submits a report to the United Nations mechanisms regarding arbitrary arrests, torture, and the denial of victims' right to a fair trial before courts affiliated with the Houthi Ansar Allah group.

    Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties stated that it has submitted a report to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. The report highlights the violation of the right to a fair trial before courts under the control of the Houthi group, documenting numerous cases witnessed by the organization's field team.

    SAM affirmed that its report comes as part of its commitment to ensuring accountability and preventing impunity, in partnership with the “Justice4Yemen Pact”, which includes several Yemeni human rights organizations.

    The report submitted by the organization included a legal study on the case of detainee Ahmed Al-Qata' and others who have been subjected to arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and deprivation of their right to a fair trial before the judicial authorities affiliated with the Houthi group. The study, prepared by a specialized legal team, revealed the existence of a prevailing pattern of extracting confessions and forcing false charges in order to incriminate individuals.

    The organization, in its report, pointed out that the Houthi Ansar Allah group employs a policy of enforced disappearance accompanied by threats, torture, and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. This includes practices such as hanging individuals from ceilings, electric shocks, deprivation of food, prolonged night-time interrogations, and sleep deprivation, with the aim of coercing victims into confessing to crimes and recording these forced confessions for dissemination through the media.

    The attached study in the report highlighted that the Houthi group deliberately violated constitutional guarantees that detainees are supposed to enjoy. These violations include detaining individuals for more than 24 hours without presenting them to the prosecution, denying them access to their lawyers during the interrogation period, and continuing torture as a systematic method to humiliate and intimidate detainees. Additionally, there have been instances of medical and physical neglect, which contradicts local laws such as the Yemeni Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Law, as well as international laws such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture, and the Convention on Enforced Disappearance, which prohibit all forms of cruel treatment.

    The organization concluded its report with several demands, including the disclosure of the fate of detainees and access to information about their conditions, allowing them to meet with their lawyers and have family visits. The organization called on the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on Torture to engage with the Houthi group, urging them to cease the violations against detainees and prevent their recurrence in the future. Furthermore, the organization emphasized the importance of ensuring that the judicial authorities affiliated with the group adhere to measures that guarantee respect for human rights in Yemen, including the right to arbitrary detention, the right to defense, and the right to a fair trial.


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