Arbitrary detention by the Houthis - HRW

A new report by Human Rights Watch details the Houthi forces' practice of arbitrarily detaining and disappearing individuals with ties--real or imagined--to the Islah Party or other opposition groups. The report provides details of more than 20 cases of arbitrary detention and forced disappearance, out of 35 cases confirmed by HRW investigators. The people illegally detained by the Houthis include political activists, Islah party members, journalists, and lawyers. According to one Yemeni attorney interviewed by HRW, more than 800 people are currently being held by Houthi authorities in and around San‘a:

He said that based on information he has gathered from sources knowledgeable about detentions, the Houthis were holding at least 250 at al-Thawra pretrial detention facility, 180 at Habra pretrial detention facility, 167 at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), 165 opposition figures at Sanaa Central Prison, 73 at the Political Security Organization’s headquarters, 20 at al-Judairi police station, 10 at one of the homes of the former First Armored Division commander, Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and an unknown number at Zain al-Abdeen mosque in Hiziyaz.

Based on interviews with witnesses and family members, the report claims that Houthi authorities are depriving many detainees of food and water, preventing them from contacting anyone on the outside, and holding them in otherwise illegal and abusive conditions. One journalism student, for example, who has been imprisoned for more than four months, was "first held for three days without food or being allowed to use the bathroom." A professor at San‘a University's medical school "was being held in a three-by-three meter cell with 14 other men and was only allowed to use the bathroom once a day."

Read the full report here.