YEMEN Press Agency

Journalist al-Sawari escapes from secret Saudi prison in Mahra

SANAA, Aug. 28 (YPA) – Yemeni journalist Yahya al-Sawari on Tuesday escaped from an illegal jail run by Saudi-backed militia affiliated to governor of Mahra province Rajeh Bakrit, after nearly two months of forced disappearance.

Al-Sawari said in a post on his official Facebook page that he was hidden in illegal prisons in al-Ghaydha district, the capital of Mahra province, for 56 days at direct orders from the governor Bakrit.

He said that during the period of detention he was transferred to more than one prison blindfolded and handcuffed, confirming at the same time that he was subjected to severe psychological and physical torture, including electrocution and the threat of killing his younger brother Badr.

“I went on hunger strike for a whole week demanding to hand me over to the public prosecution, but at the end they forced me to eat by force,” he added.

He explained that those who interrogated him were seeking to find any relationship linking him to Iranian, Qatari or Omani officers or to figures from Lebanese Hezboallah to explain his media activity in Mahra, but they find nothing and did not direct any charge to him except for filming events in the province and writing about them.

“After failing to fabricate the charge against me, they refused to release me until they were sure that I would not talk about the governor Bakrit, Mahra and what I saw in their prisons,” al-Sawari said.

The journalist explained that he managed to escape Monday night miraculously and that he would write details of his escape in future publications.

On July 3, al-Sawari, a freelance journalist, was arrested in al-Ghayda by militias affiliated to the governor of Mahra Rajih Bakrit and he was handed over to Saudi forces stationed at al-Ghaydha Airport.