Take Action for Banned Books Week 2020
Release Akram al‐Walidi, Abdelkhaleq Amran, Hareth Hamid and Tawfiq Al‐Mansouri and Drop Their Death Sentences
On April 11 2020, the Specialized Criminal Court in Sana’a sentenced four journalists, Akram al‐Walidi, Abdelkhaleq Amran, Hareth Hamid and Tawfiq Al‐Mansouri to death. They were part of a wider group of 10 journalists formally charged in December 2018 with a series of offenses, including spying, which carries the death penalty. All were arrested in 2015 and have been awaiting trial since then. The journalists’ lawyers were permitted to attend their first court session but have subsequently been barred from attending all the other court sessions.
On March 16, 2016, nine of the journalists, excluding Salah al‐Qaedi, were moved from al‐Thawra pre‐trial detention facility to al‐Habra. When the families of all the detainees attempted to visit them on May 23, 2016, prison guards told them the journalists were no longer there but refused to reveal their whereabouts. The 10 journalists were detained without charge or trial until December 2018, when they were formally charged after being questioned in the presence of their lawyers.
Since their detention in 2015, all 10 journalists have been suffering from a range of medical issues, including stomach and colon pain, hearing problems, hemorrhoids and headaches for which they have not received adequate medical attention.
According to Abdelkhaleq Amran’s family, detainees held in adjacent cells in the Political Security Office in Sana’a heard him screaming as he was being tortured in November 2016.
The arbitrary detention of 10 journalists for five years by the Huthi de facto authorities is a grim indicator of the dire state of media freedom in Yemen.
Updated on Aug 24, 2020.