Yemen: Human rights defender Safwan Al-Munaifi arrested during International Day of Peace activities


Update: Yemen: On 01 November 2019 human rights defender Safwan Al-Munaifi has been released from prison. Report confirmed that no charges directed against him.


Security forces in the city of Mukalla, the capital city of Yemen's largest governorate Hadhramaut, arrested human rights defender Safwan Al-Munaifi during activities marking the International Day of Peace, held each year on 21 September.

On 23 September 2019, in the evening, security forces stormed the Grand Yemen hotel in Mukalla where Al-Munaifi was staying and arrested him. To mark the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the hotel was the venue of the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Federal Youth Conference for Peace, Development and Reconstruction. The conference was held under the slogan: "Youth are the solid bridge to peace", from 19 to 26 September 2019. Al-Munaifi was one of the main organisers of the activities

According to reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Al-Munaifi is being held by the Military Intelligence Division within the First Military Zone, which belongs to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. He has been accused of collaborating with the Houthis.

Safwan Al-Munaifi, 34, advocated for peace to rebuild Yemen and create a prosperous future for all citizens and used his Facebook page to talk about the desire of "Youth to build societies based on equity, social justice, participation and a shared future, which all of them require to participate in socio-economic growth based on democracy and inclusive governance systems as well as respect for governance, law, fundamental rights and freedoms, including cultural diversity."

GCHR calls on the authorities in Yemen to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally free Safwan Al-Munaifi and make sure he is not charged for his human rights activities; and
2. Respect the activities of all human rights defenders and allow them to carry out their work without interference.