Yemen: Four journalists released three years after being sentenced to death
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) welcomes the implementation of the prisoner exchange agreement and the release of four journalists who were facing the death penalty, and calls on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to release all prisoners of conscience and to conduct a full exchange of all prisoners of war.
Reliable reports received by GCHR confirmed that four journalists, Abdulkhaleq Ahmed Amran, Akram Saleh Al-Walidi, Al-Hareth Saleh Hamid and Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri, who were sentenced to death in 2020, were released on 16 April 2023, under this exchange agreement. They arrived at Tadween Airport in Ma'rib Governorate, where they were received by their families, amid great manifestations of joy.
On 21 March 2023, Abdulqadir Al-Murtada, the head of the National Committee for Prisoners, affiliated with the Houthi group, announced that the Red Cross would, within three weeks, carry out a prisoner exchange operation that includes the release of 181 detainees, including 15 Saudis and three Sudanese, in exchange for 706 prisoners from the Houthi group, who will be released by the Yemeni government that is supported by Saudi Arabia.
On 11 April 2020, a court in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, which is controlled by the Houthi authorities, sentenced the four journalists to death on charges of espionage, among ten journalists convicted of publishing false news. The four journalists had been in prison since their arrests in the summer of 2015 on unjust charges related to their journalism.
More information on their case is available on GCHR’s website here.
GCHR shares the joy of the four journalists, Abdulkhaleq Ahmed Amran, Akram Saleh Al-Walidi, Al-Hareth Saleh Hamid and Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri, and their families, about their release and calls on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to release all prisoners held unjustly without exception, including prisoners of conscience. In addition, they must respect freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and allow journalists to do their work freely.