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Yemeni Captive Tortured to Death in Houthi Prison

Yemeni Captive Tortured to Death in Houthi Prison

Saturday, 1 September, 2018 - 12:45
Houthi gathering in Sanaa, EPA
Sanaa- Asharq Al-Awsat
A Yemeni captive, presumed to be a social activist held in a Houthi-run prison, died on Friday after being exposed to extensive torture, sources from Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Iran-backed Houthis are known for practicing gruesome harassment against activists and opponents, subjecting them to both physical and psychological torture.

“The abductee, Yusuf Abdullah al-Muqbali, had been held for two months and died earlier this week in a Houthi military prison located in Sanaa, after suffering brutal torture,” sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

Muqbali’s body remains in Houthi possession and has not been handed over to his family yet.

Sources confirmed that Houthi messengers threatened Muqbali’s relatives by saying that his body will not return for proper burial until family members acknowledge, in writing, that he has died from natural causes and that they will stand against any forensic probing.

Houthis kidnapped Muqbali, who is an Ibb province resident, while he was passing through a militia checkpoint, his relatives reported.

There were no reports on Muqbali suffering from any chronic ailment--on the contrary, Muqbali is said to have been in good shape before being kidnapped by militants eight weeks ago. Houthi militants justified the kidnap by accusing Muqbali, without any evidence, of colluding with pro-government forces.

According to Yemeni human rights sources, at least 150 detainees in militia prisons have died in the past three years as a result of severe physical and psychological torture.

Tales told by multiple prison survivors revealed appalling torture methods being exercised by Houthi militiamen against detainees, such as burning, electrocution, beatings and forced metal piercings.

Other accounts spoke of Houthis using starvation, cigarette burns and nail extraction as methods for torture as well.

Human rights organizations fear that thousands of detainees in Houthi prisons will have a fate similar to Muqbali’s.

The militias do not allow for family visits in prisons, or for international organizations to investigate conditions of detention in Houthi-run prisons.

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