Yemen: Release of human rights defenders


On 16 February 2019 human rights defender Awfa Al-Na’ami was released while her colleague, human rights defender Alhassan Al-Qaqtari, was released on 14 February 2019.

On 28 January 2019, both had been summoned by the National Security (Mokabarat) Office in Sana’a, which is controlled by the Houthi forces, for interrogation. There were arrested on arrival and held incommunicado.

Al-Na’ami is the director of Saferworld’s office in Yemen and Al-Qawtari works with her in the same office. Saferworld is an independent international organisation working to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives.

For more details on their case see the following link:

There is also further news of Journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin who was able to leave Yemen on 14 February 2019, heading for Cairo via Sayoun airport in the Hadhramout region of Yemen, accompanied by his family on a treatment and rehabilitation visit.

Makhashin, who is Editor-in-Chief of Al-Mohrer newspaper and the online Al-Mohrer.Net, had been freed after almost a month in prison. He had been previously been refused permission to travel on 09 February 2019, despite his health having deteriorated in prison.

For more details on his case see the following link:

While the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) welcomes the release of human rights defenders Awfa Al-Na’ami and her colleague Alhassan Al-Qaqtari and the granting of permission to journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin to travel with his family to Cairo for treatment and rehabilitation, it calls upon all parties to the conflict in Yemen to respect the public freedoms of citizens, including freedom of expression, opinion, peaceful demonstration, and association in addition to not targeting human rights defenders, including journalists and provide them with full protection.