Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Yemenis Describe Illegal Detentions, Abuse by Security Forces
May 7, 2012
"(New York) – Yemeni security forces have arbitrarily detained dozens of demonstrators and other perceived opponents of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh since anti-government protests began in February 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch documented 37 cases in which security forces have held people for days, weeks, or months without charge, including 20 who were picked up or remained behind bars after the November 2011 power transfer.
Twenty-two former detainees told Human Rights Watch they were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, including beatings, electric shock, threats of death or rape, and weeks or months in solitary confinement. Human Rights Watch also interviewed relatives of five protesters, opposition fighters, and others who remained forcibly disappeared or held without charge, as well as two people being held in an unregistered jail by the First Armored Division, which defected to the opposition in March 2011. Human Rights Watch called on both government and opposition forces to immediately release everyone they are still arbitrarily detaining.
“There’s no serious prospect for a new era of respect for human rights in Yemen as long as security forces can detain anyone they want, outside any semblance of a legal process,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The transition government should ensure that all security forces immediately get out of the illegal detention business.”......"