Yemen: Flagrant and persistent violations of human rights


The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is concerned about flagrant and persistent human rights violations in Yemen, including in the case of an actress and model sentenced to five years in prison. In addition, GCHR welcomes the news that a journalist was released, but maintains that he should never have been arrested in the first place.

Actress and model Intisar Al-Hammadi and her colleagues in limbo while awaiting written verdict

Although the initial verdict was issued against the actress and model, Intisar Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi and her colleagues in November 2021, the case file has not been handed over to the defense team, nor has Judge Osama Abdulaziz Al-Junaid has submitted a written verdict for the court records. He personally issued the verdict against the defendants on false charges handed down in a trial that lacked all international standards of fair trial and due process.

Although the defense team submitted the request to appeal the judgment, it cannot be completed without obtaining the case file because Judge Al-Junaid has not yet written the justification for the judgment, in a clear violation of normal legal procedures, which require that written judgments be provided when the case file is completely ready.

Reliable local sources told GCHR that 20-year-old Al-Hammadi is still languishing in one of the cells of the Central Prison where she is suffering psychologically since the unjust sentence was issued against her.

On 08 November 2021, the West Capital Municipality Court of First Instance in Sana’a, the capital, headed by Judge Al-Junaid, handed down a five-year prison sentence to Entisar Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi after convicting her of charges that included alleged prostitution and drug use. She was among four women sentenced to prison in violation of their rights.

The court also convicted her colleagues Yousra Ahmed Al-Nashiri, Mahaliah Abdulwahab Al-Baadani and Ruqaiya Ahmed Al-Sawadi on various charges, including alleged adultery. Al-Nashiri was sentenced to five years in prison, Al-Baadani was sentenced to three years in prison, and Al-Sawadi was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence.

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Human rights lawyer Khaled Al-Kamal’s identity document confiscated

On 11 December 2021, human rights lawyer and legal advisor Khaled Mohammed Al-Kamal went to the Central Prison to submit a request to the Public Prosecution in the prison, including to request the transfer of one of his clients, who is a prison inmate, from one section to another. While he was submitting the application, he was summoned by the director of the prison, Mohammed Al-Makthi. Although Al-Kamal informed him about the purpose of his visit, Al-Makthi asked him for his personal lawyer's identity card, which he then seized before threatening to imprison the lawyer.

Although the Public Prosecutor at the prison, Ammar Al-Hamzi, called him twice, Al-Makthi refused to return the card to the lawyer. In October 2021, Al-Kamal was suspended from his work at a health insurance company. He was targeted in prison and suspended from work on the basis that he is Intisar Al-Hammadi's lawyer, according to what he was told in both incidences.

In a letter sent to the Minister of Interior on 15 December 2021, the Yemeni Bar Association condemned "these irresponsible behaviours that are incompatible with the ABCs of public office and the supposed decency of the public servant." The letter stressed that "Al-Makthi should return the card, and be subjected to investigation and referred to the judiciary in accordance with the law."

In a previous incident, on 02 June 2021, when Al-Kamal was working in the Capital’s Secretariat, he was informed by the Human Resources Department of an arbitrary decision that had been issued by the Legal Sector on 26 May 2021, which suspended him from work. He submitted a request to the Director General of Investigations and Litigation, insisting that he did not commit any violations during his tenure of more than 20 years of work. GCHR documented this in an appeal issued on 04 June 2021.

Journalist Majed Yassin released after arbitrary arrest and detention

On 04 January 2022, press reports confirmed that the Political Security in Ibb Governorate had released journalist Majed Yassin. Yassin was arrested on the evening of 24 November 2021 in the city of Ibb by a security force affiliated with the Houthis, and was imprisoned by the Political Security. Reliable local sources confirmed that the reason for his arrest was that he was accused of insulting the Houthis through posts on his Facebook page which he used to talk about various public affairs of concern to citizens, defended their rights, and fought corruption in the Governorate.

His arrest was followed by a wide campaign of solidarity by his fellow journalists and other citizens on social media. The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate also issued an appeal, which it posted on Facebook, condemning his arrest and calling for the authorities "not to involve journalists in conflicts, and deal with them as an easy target in a repressive and violent manner."


GCHR calls on the de facto government in Sanaa, the Houthi group to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally free actress and model Entisar Al-Hammadi and her colleagues, who were sentenced on fabricated charges, and allow them the right to appeal and fair trial;
  2. Fully respect the rights of women to live and work freely without harassment and prejudice;
  3. Respect the rights of lawyers to practice their jobs freely; and
  4. Respect the right to freedom of expression and allow journalists to carry out their work free from intimidation and arrest.