Target: Abdu Hussein Muhsen al-Turab, Minister of the Interior
Goal: Ascertain the whereabouts of two activists who have been forcibly disappeared and ensure their safety
Anwar Ismail and Khaled al-Junaidi, two activists involved with southern Yemen’s al-Hirak movement, recently disappeared under suspicious circumstances within two days of each other. Witness reports suggest they have been forcibly disappeared by government forces as a result of their political work. Sign the petition and demand that their whereabouts be revealed and their human rights be respected.
Al-Hirak, or the Southern Movement, is “a loose coalition of political groups, many of whom call for the peaceful separation of southern Yemen,” Amnesty International reports. Southern Yemen was its own country prior to union with northern Yemen in 1990, and the protests have been fueled by what many believe is discrimination against people in the south.
Anwar Ismail and Khaled al-Junaidi have both faced government oppression and human rights violations as a result of their activism in the past. Ismail has been arrested twice in 2014, held without charge, and tortured. Al-Junaidi was arrested in 2013, held without charge for three weeks, and kept incommunicado for the majority of his detention.
The men are leaders in a peaceful movement, and the government has no right to detain them for the nonviolent expression of their political beliefs. Furthermore, the secrecy surrounding their current whereabouts leaves them more vulnerable to further human rights violations such as torture, ill-treatment, denial of medical care, and denial of legal aid. Sign the petition demanding that the two men’s whereabouts be disclosed immediately, that they be guaranteed safety from torture and ill-treatment, and that they either be charged immediately with an internationally recognizable crime or unconditionally released.
I am writing to demand the immediate disclosure of the whereabouts of Anwar Ismail and Khaled al-Junaidi, who have been forcibly disappeared by suspected security forces. Forcible disappearances and incommunicado detentions are human rights violations that leave their victims open to further abuse, such as torture, ill-treatment, denial of medical care, and denial of legal aid. I urge you to immediately make the men’s whereabouts public and to either charge them with an internationally recognizable offense or release them unconditionally.
Both Anwar Ismail and Khaled al-Junaidi have been arrested before in connection with their peaceful activism through al-Hirak. They have not been charged with any crimes in the past year, yet they have been detained for between one and three weeks, allegedly tortured, and held incommunicado. These gross human rights violations are unacceptable under any circumstances, but it is particularly shameful to see them repeated now.
Ismail and al-Junaidi are prisoners of conscience, detained solely as a result of their peaceful political expression. As such, they must be released immediately and unconditionally. Furthermore, I urge you to fully investigate any and all allegations of torture, ill-treatment, and other human rights violations and bring those responsible to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: CIA World Factbook via Wikimedia Commons