Yemen: Actress Entisar Al-Hammadi attempts suicide and journalist Mohammed Al-Azizi attacked
On 28 June 2021, actress and model Entisar Al-Hammadi (photo on the left) was transferred to a hospital inside the Central Prison in Sana'a where she is being held after attempting suicide. According to press reports, a child accompanying his imprisoned mother caught a glimpse of her face turning blue after she tried to hang herself. He hurriedly told everyone, and she was rescued at the last moment but was in critical condition.
Reliable sources confirmed to the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) that she tried to commit suicide due to the decision of the Central Prison administration to transfer her to the prison’s prostitution section. This led to a severe deterioration in her psychological state, particularly since she had hoped to be released as none of the charges against her were proven.
On 30 June 2021, human rights activist Loai Jalal Al-Azazi posted on his Facebook page the following, "Since yesterday, the authorities have prevented us, and the relatives of Entisar Al-Hammadi, from checking on her." He added, "We appeal to the competent authorities, and the concerned agencies, to inform us of Entisar’s current health condition."
Human rights lawyer and legal advisor Khaled Al-Kamal, who is defending Al-Hammadi in partnership with lawyer Saqr Al-Samawi, told GCHR the following regarding the suicide incident, "I hold the de facto authority in Sana’a, the Houthi group, responsible for preserving the life of my client, and I ask all international organisations to stand by her because she is an oppressed person who deserves to be released immediately."
Al-Kamal has been constantly targeted for his defense of Al-Hammadi. For more information, see: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2742
On 04 July 2021, the West Municipality Court in Sana'a, which is a court of first instance, will hold its sixth hearing to consider Al-Hammadi’s case. The defense team will comment on the prosecution's response to the defense statement submitted on behalf of their 20-year-old client, who has been detained arbitrarily since 20 February 2021, with another actress who wishes to remain anonymous. Al-Hammadi has been charged with two alleged offences: committing an act of immorality and drug possession. Her trial was marked by a lack of the minimum international standards required for a fair trial and due process.
For more information on the case, see: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2721
In a separate case, on 27 June 2021, journalist Mohammed Qaid Al-Azizi (photo in the middle) was severely beaten in front of his house in Sana'a, in front of his children, by six people outside his apartment. Local reports confirmed that among the aggressors was the landlord of the apartment in which Al-Azizi lives, who is trying to forcibly evict him so that he can rent it to someone else.
He first went, in spite of his bleeding injuries (photo on the right), to the September 26 Police Station to lodge a complaint against the assailants but the officer in charge refused to register the complaint and demanded that he present two witnesses. The wounds he sustained required him to be admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital and he is now in stable condition.
His Facebook page was filled with messages of solidarity, as he spent more than 20 years working to cover public affairs of interest to citizens. This was followed by an order issued by the Public Prosecution’s Office in the north of the capital to arrest the aggressors.
On the following day, 28 June 2021, Al-Azizi, who works in "Al-Thawra" newspaper, announced from the hospital where he is being treated that he and a number of his colleagues had formed a preparatory committee that would pave the way for the establishment of an association for tenants aimed at defending their rights and limiting the violations they are subjected to.
GCHR strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of actress Entisar Al-Hammadi, who has not committed any crime, and her ill-treatment by the Central Prison Administration in Sana’a; and calls on the de facto government in Sana’a, the Houthi group, to release the two women unconditionally. Also, GCHR calls for an end to the attacks on lawyer Khaled Al-Kamal and for him to be able to practice his work freely.
GCHR also denounces the attack on journalist Mohammed Qaid Al-Azizi and calls on the competent authorities in Sana'a to work on referring the aggressors to the judiciary to be tried in a court of law.