Reports & News

Sun - 10 Jan 2021 - 11:57 PM ،،،

 The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor documented the grave violations prisoners in Houthi prisons endured in a detailed report, stressing the need to scale up efforts to put an end to such violations and hold perpetrators accountable.

The 40-page report presented the various illegal forms of abduction and torture adopted by Houthis and revealed secret location of some Houthi-run prisons in various Yemeni governorates to torture civilians.

The report, entitled "I had a death wish,” is based on 13 testimonies Euro-Med Monitor research team collected from freed prisoners. It is worth mentioning that all of them are civilians and have been released in the UN-sponsored prisoner-swap deal between the warring parties in August 2020. Freed prisoners explained the most prominent violations they were subjected to and the adverse conditions they endured during their detention in Houthi prisons.

Houthis run unofficial centers for detention, including residential buildings, schools, and universities, which do not meet the minimum international and local standards for detention concerning hygiene, ventilation, and the provision of proper health care, water, electricity, and basic necessities.

The report highlighted that COVID-19 has spread widely in the three main detention centers in Sana’a: the Political Prison, the Habra Prison, and the Central Prison. These three prisons are not suitable to be used as detention centers in the first place due to the lack of the minimum legal standards for detention.

Houthis adopt various forms of torture, varying between physical and mental torture. Houthis’ most prominent torture method was sever beating with heavy tools such as rifle butts; Houthis used other forms of torture such as hanging from hands for long periods, whipping detainees while naked, and using chemical incendiary materials. This caused permanent disabilities to some detainees while some others died during torture, especially those who were hit on the head with batons or those who were sprayed with acid.

On the other hand, there were various forms of mental torture. That involved intimidation and pressuring detainees to confess to charges they did not commit. Houthis kept them in solitary confinement, having confiscated their clothes and medicines, and insulted and threatened to harm their families. They also blackmailed their families in exchange for releasing them and threatened to transfer detainees to places under constant bombing from the Arab Coalition warplanes. Most of those released suffer from psychological problems that require long-term rehabilitation.