Yemen: Journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin not allowed to travel for treatment after release from prison


Journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Mohrer newspaper and the online Al-Mohrer.Net, was freed after almost a month in prison. However, on 09 February 2019, he was not allowed to travel to Cairo with his family for treatment for his poor health, which deteriorated in prison.

He and his family were stopped at Sayoun airport in the Hadhramout region of Yemen by the Military Intelligence Service, in whose custody bin Mkhashin was from 03 to 28 December. He was on hunger strike from the moment of his arrest, despite his poor health condition.

The Military Intelligence Apparatus in Hadramout arrested bin Makhashin in the city of Mukalla without explaining why he was arrested or what the charges were. Despite this, local reports confirmed that the reason for his arrest was related to what he 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 in Yemen. 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. Allow Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin and his family to leave Yemen for treatment in Cairo; and
  2. 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.