New Study by WJWC Shows Marked Increase in Kidnappings Following Coup D’état in Yemen

The crimes of kidnapping, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance have increased significantly since the Iranian-backed Houthi militia and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh carried out a coup d’état against Yemen’s legitimate authority and took over the capital Sana’a in September 2014, according to a recent study Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC).

"Since the emergence of the Houthi militia and the six war rounds in Saada between government forces and the Houthi rebels, dozens of anti-Houthi opponents have been imprisoned in secret prisons set up by the Houthi group," said the study, titled " The Coup D’état and Abusive Detention Policies in Yemen During 2014-2017".

"With the expansion of the militia, its repressive practices have widened, and cases of kidnappings have increased accordingly. The Houthi group has established private, secret detention centers, continuing with the policy of arbitrary arrests against citizens who are kept in secret prisons. These prisons are usually schools or facilities seized and converted into military barracks by Houthi militiamen,” added the study.

Over nearly three years of the militia’s takeover of power in Yemen, the study continued, the putschists as a de facto authority have violated national customs and international covenants and conventions signed by Yemen, including the right to freedom and dignity, and the prohibition of arbitrary imprisonment, enforced disappearance and torture.

The study pointed out that the prisons in Yemen are diverse and bear different names, but they are all run by the Houthi militia, stressing that several recorded testimonies prove that mental health facilities have been used to hide psychologically ill detainees or memory loss cases.

The militia has also misused public facilities, including government buildings and places of worships, to imprison and hide detainees, stated the study,

The study confirmed that the Houthis and Saleh's forces have resorted to many methods in dealing with opponents such as blackmail and ransom demand, turning abductees and detainees into a lucrative business.

According to the study, torture of prisoners has become a phenomenon in prisons under the control of the Houthis and Saleh’s forces, as well as of the UAE forces in a number of cities in southern areas, as evidenced by many released prisoners who have reported horrific abuses and torture inside prisons.

Subscribe Now!

Most Recent