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Rights Group Accuses Houthis in Yemen of Torturing 113 Detainees to Death

Rights Group Accuses Houthis in Yemen of Torturing 113 Detainees to Death

Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 - 10:45
Anti-Houthi protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against the militia in the southwestern city of Taiz, Yemen. (Reuters)

A Netherlands-based human rights organization accused Houthi militias of torturing 113 Yemeni prisoners in its jails to death since the group took control of Sanaa and staged its coup against the legitimate government.

The organization said on Tuesday that some of the cases may be considered "war crimes."

The Rights Radar organization said in a statement obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat that it "strongly condemns the repeated occurrence of deaths due to torture in Houthi detention camps", calling on the international community and the United Nations in particular to "take deterrent measures against perpetrators and hold them accountable.”

Human rights sources, according to Rights Radar, estimated the number of detainees in Houthi prisons at about 7,000 distributed over 643 illegal prisons throughout Yemen.

They said that most of them are leaders and members of the Yemeni Reform Party, as well as new detainees from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People's Congress. These figures became targets after Saleh’s murder on December 4.

The organization gave the example of Ali Mohammed al-Toweiti, 35, who died after being tortured to death by members of the Houthis in the Ibb province.

Rights Radar confirmed that Houthi gunmen abducted Toweiti in November at one of their checkpoints in the Damt District of the Dhale Governorate when he was headed to Yarm city in nearby Ibb.

“His family missed him since the day of his arrest until they found him dead in Yarm city hospital,” it said, noting that there were signs of severe torture on his body.

A security source told the organization that Toweiti died on November 22 after being brutally tortured for three days in the Houthi detention camp in Radmah district. His family received his corpse late last year and buried it on January 1.

It said that a medical source explained that “he was subjected to physical torture, severe beating, electrocution with sharp instruments and burning with boiling water.”

Another detainee, Hassan Salem Ahmed, 25, died from torture in Zabid town in Hodeidah province, west of Yemen, on November 27 a week after his arrest near the town’s Faculty of Education. He was subject to brutal torture by the Houthis until he died, Rights Radar added in its statement.

Ahmed al-Wahashi is another detainee who was subject to brutal torture that left him with a broken spine, which ultimately led to his death ten days after he was apprehended.

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