Free Journalists Arrested for Opposing Armed Group

Robert H Goun

Target: Ali Saleh Taisser, Yemen Deputy Minister of Human Rights

Goal: Release journalists being held by an armed political group in Yemen.

Nine journalists are currently being detained in a pre-trial facility in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. They have not been charged with any crimes and are most likely being held due to the political affiliations of their publications.

The journalists were all working in a hotel room in Sana’a at around four a.m. when armed men, including some in uniform, broke into the room. Their guns displayed slogans associated with the Huthi armed group, which recently took over Yemen’s government.

The journalists were initially split up and held incommunicado, but they are now all held in one place and are allowed to receive visits from family members once a week. Relatives of the detained journalists report that the journalists have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated in custody. One journalist was without his important medication until his family was able to bring it to him in jail.

This treatment, especially of those who have not even been charged with any crime, is deplorable and unnecessary. Sign the petition below demanding that the journalists be guaranteed freedom from torture and access to medical care, and urge authorities in Yemen to either charge them with an internationally recognizable offense or release them immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Deputy Minister Taisser,

I am writing to express my deep concern for the heath and well-being of the nine journalists being held at a pre-trial detention center in Sana’a. They have not been charged with any crime, despite being detained for months, and there have been allegations of torture against their jailors. I urge you to make this right: keep the journalists safe from torture and ill-treatment, drop the charges against them, and release them as soon as possible.

The journalists were initially split up and held incommunicado. Their families only learned what had happened to them after hearing from other prisoners who had been released from the same facility. The relatives of the journalists allege that the journalists have been tortured and ill-treated while in custody, with some being slapped and beaten during interrogations. One journalist was not given access to his necessary medication until his family was able to deliver it to him.

All prisoners, no matter what their crime or status, are entitled to adequate medical care and freedom from torture, and I urge you to ensure that the journalists are safe and healthy. Furthermore, I demand that they either be charged with an internationally-recognizable crime or freed immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Roger H. Goun

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