Geneva – Houthi rebel groups are detaining captives in shocking conditions, finds the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the Association of Abductees’ Mothers in Yemen. Human rights violations are rampant and the overcrowded living conditions are particularly dangerous in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report, titled, “Hanish Prison: the Houthi ‘Dungeon’,” profiles violations against two Yemeni civilians as examples. The two were detained in Hanish Prison without charge, then subjected to physical and psychological torture, deprived of food and medicine and denied visits by family members—severe infractions of international law conventions.
The report provides the names and nicknames of the prison officials and Houthi investigators.
Euro-Med Monitor and the Association of Abductees’ Mothers obtained testimonies from former detainees, who described the situation inside the prison and the violations to which they were subjected by Houthi militants. These include denial of food, water and medicine, along with physical and psychological torture, sexual abuse and other violence.
The report documents the pattern of human rights violations in the Houthi-run prison since 2014, with a map showing both the institutions’ layout and the deployment of Houthi forces inside Yemen. In addition, the lists the legal provisions to which the Houthi administration should adhere, including prohibiting arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance, and cruel and inhumane treatment.
Euro-Med Monitor and the Association of Abductees’ Mothers demand that the Houthi organization release all abductees held in Hanish Prison and halt all further detention without charge.
The two organizations also ask the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to inspect Hanish Prison to document living conditions. Moreover, they call on the member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn all Houthi violations of human rights in Hanish Prison, including abduction, enforced disappearance, torture and the denial of basic rights, including health care.
The groups’ report urges the international community and, in particular, the U.N. Security Council to fulfill the legal and ethical duties laid out in U.N. conventions by advocating for the closure of all Hanish and other Houthi prisons.
The report also calls on all parties to pressure the Houthis to adhere to international law and conventions that prohibit human rights violations against unarmed civilians, as well as to hold perpetrators accountable—including Houthi leaders themselves.
Full Report, Here