Yemen: Family of journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin calls for efforts to end his arbitrary detention


On 08 December 2018, the family of journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Mohrer newspaper and the online Al-Mohrer.Net, issued a public appeal to civil society and human rights organisations to engage in relentless efforts to secure his release from detention in Hadramout, a governorate of Yemen.  

The appeal stated, "He is facing very difficult health conditions since the moment of his abduction," including the fact that "he had a fever and was prevented from receiving medication for treatment including for diabetes.”

The appeal confirmed that “he was on hunger strike from the moment of his arrest on Monday, 03 December until the time of the appeal on Saturday, 08 December, despite his poor health condition.”

The family hold both the governor of Hadramout and the director of the Military Intelligence Service on the Hadramout coast fully responsibility for his safety.

The Military Intelligence Apparatus in Hadramout arrested bin Makhashin in the city of Mukalla without explaining why he was arrested or what the charges are. Despite this, local reports have confirmed that the reason for his arrest is related to what he has published on social media, including his Facebook page, in which he criticised the governor. He wrote, "The governor makes use of an electronic army using fake names, as well as state media institutions and military intelligence, to monitor our actions, monitor our communications, our homes and business sites, spread lies and accusations against us and encourage public and non-public incitement.”

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) expresses serious concern for the health and safety of Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin, particularly as he has no access to proper medical care or his medications. GCHR expresses further concern for the situation of all those in Yemen who are being targeted as a result of legitimately reporting human rights violations in the shadow of the conflict.

GCHR urges the authorities in Hadramout to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin;
  2. Guarantee Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin immediate access to a lawyer and contact with his family;
  3. Guarantee the physical and psychological safety of Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin while he remains in detention; and
  4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all journalist, media workers and human rights defenders in Yemen are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. 

GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to article 6 (c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters“, and to Article 12 (2): “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present declaration.