Yemen: Journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri must be released

17.04.20

According to reliable reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri is suffering from deteriorating physical and mental health in prison in Yemen. His psychological state is poor due to his fears that the COVID-19 virus will spread in prison, which lacks even the minimum health standards.

Al-Maqri was taken into custody on 16 March 2019 while leaving his home in the governorate of Ma’rib, where he sought refuge after the Houthi forces pursued him. He was reportedly detained by the Political Security Directorate in Ma’rib and his family was not allowed to visit him. His wife died on 16 June 2019, and was under great stress after her husband was arrested and held arbitrarily. The nature of the charges against him are not yet known.

Other prisoners who were detained with him, and were released last year, said he is in poor health, according to a report by GCHR in August 2019.

Al-Maqri started his journalistic work in 2010 with a number of websites and then wrote for several local newspapers.

GCHR urges the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, in addition to the authorities in Ma’rib governorate, to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri, and all other detained journalists in Yemen;
  2. Guarantee that all detained journalists and other prisoners of conscience are held in humane conditions, with proper hygiene, and have access to a lawyer and family visits;
  3. Guarantee the physical and psychological safety of all detained journalists and prisoners of conscience, including Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri; and
  4. Guarantee that all journalists are able to carry out their legitimate work without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment and the persecution of their families.