SAM Organization Released Testimonies of 27 Al-Saleh Prison’s Victims SAM
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SAM Organization Released Testimonies of 27 Al-Saleh Prison’s Victims

  
  
  
    
10/02/2020

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, released on Monday February 10, 2020 a report on the prison of Al-Saleh city, located on the outskirts of Taiz city, and published testimonies and stories published for the first time about torture of prisoners opposing the Iran-backed Houthis militia.

The Geneva-based SAM Organization said that its team in Taiz, central Yemen, interviewed 27 victims and witnesses on Al-Saleh prison, in addition to 3 neutral mediators who had the opportunity to visit the prison as part of a search and negotiation mission to release the detainees who met some detainees.

Al-Saleh prison, according to the organization, consists of 20 buildings divided by the Houthis into five divisions, the first is the National Security prison, the second section is the Preventive Prison, the third is the Security Prison, the fourth is the Military Prison, and the fifth is the Political Security Prison, which are the names  given by Houthis to the negotiating committees that seek to release the detainees, but there are other names that are used by sectarian jailors, according to the categorization of prisoners by the Houthis leaders supervising the prison.

In addition to the prison, which is full of abducted Houthis opponents, there are other buildings nearby used as houses for the group’s leaders and their armed elements, and part of it is used as warehouses for weapons and military equipment, surrounded by large areas used to fire shells and rockets towards the city of Taiz.

SAM report touched on the painful methods of physical and psychological torture, and stated that the released detainees are terrified by simply mentioning the name of “Al-Saleh Prison” before them, because of the cruel treatment they received. SAM said Al-Saleh Prison became a nightmare in the city of Taiz which is known for education and the rejection of racism and weapons before Houthis’ siege since the beginning of 2015.

SAM described Al-Saleh Prison as a horror-held prisoner and resembled it to Palmyra in Syria and Bastille in France.

SAM monitored the inhumane treatment detainees face, such as starvation, denial of hygiene, denial of ventilation and the sun.

SAM said that the Houthis detain the victims for a number of purposes, including punishment of opponents, forced recruitment, or hostages in exchange for fighters being held among their members, and against ransom to be paid by the detainees' families.

SAM stated that it had previously monitored more than 51 private prisons in the governorate of Taiz, including 29 prisons run by the Houthis militia, 9 prisons run by government forces, 9 private prisons run by forces loyal to the Emirates on the west coast, and 4 prisons for extremist militant organizations that the government forces closed it in 2018 after controlling its neighborhoods and residential buildings, where the militants were deployed.

According to the SAM report, secret and illegal prisons were a disturbing phenomenon in Yemen, where "parties to the conflict" are creating illegal and secret prisons to disappear opponents and retaliate against them.

SAM monitors incidents of human rights violations and addresses victims of illegal prisons and torture in particular. It previously issued a report entitled “What is Left for Us” that documented the suffering of women in Houthis’ militia prisons, and another report entitled “Slow Death” which highlighted violations suffered by sick detainees in the prisons of Houthis militia, and monitored the illegal detention sites run by the militia, as well as the violations committed by the Emirates and its militias in the southern governorates, and investigated the bombing of detainees in the military police building in Sana'a by the Saudi-Emirati Coalition air force, and issued a report entitled "Common Crime", SAM also, monitored the most important illegal detention centers of the Emirates in the southern governorates and called for their immediate closure.

 

to read the full report click here