SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms has launched an urgent appeal to the international community, the United Nations and its Special Envoy for Yemen to intervene and pressure the Houthi militia to release four journalists who have been forcibly disappeared for nearly seven years and subjected to various types of violations without any legal justification.
The Geneva-based organization called on international bodies, led by the United Nations and its envoy in Yemen, to immediately intervene and pressure the Houthi militia to stop the trial of the four journalists and work for their release.
She stressed that the international community bears full responsibility for the lives of these journalists because of their unjustified silence, stressing that any solution to the conflict in Yemen must begin with ensuring the release of all detainees by all forces as a real sign of the sincerity of the intentions of those parties.
In a statement issued on Thursday, which coincides with the seven-year anniversary of the kidnapping of journalists, SAM condemned the militias’ continued kidnapping of four journalists sentenced to death, “Abdul-Khaleq Omran, Akram Al-Walidy, Al-Harith Hamid and Tawfiq Al-Mansoori”, expressing its fear that the group would implement its decision in the absence of The existence of any serious moves by the international community in order to activate this file.
It indicated that the Houthi militia had kidnapped 10 journalists in 2015 from their homes and workplaces and forcibly disappeared them, and practiced psychological and physical torture against them for 7 years and subjected them to illegal trials on trumped-up charges that ended with the militias’ criminal court issuing death orders for a number of them in April 2020.
SAM confirmed that the decision of the Houthis’ Court of Appeal, which sentenced these journalists to death, violates many legal principles established by international law, including the principle of a fair trial, the right to defense and the principle of legality of crimes, stressing that the charges brought by the Houthi group’s prosecutor are Loose charges aimed at silencing the media voice against the practices of the Houthi group.
In turn, the organization pointed out that the restrictions imposed by the Houthi militia on journalists, activists and individuals violate the rights and obligations stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the practice of journalistic work, as well as the text of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Disappearance. Enforced disappearances, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2006, affirmed that the widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity.