Al-Thawra Newspaper: Guantanamo “Marib” Killing With Whips, Psychological And Physical Torture, Sexual Abuses
SANAA, Nov. 15 (YPA) – Majid al-Wattari, (30 Years old), was injured in the left leg by a shrapnel of a missile that broke his femur on May 21, 2016, in al-Maslub District of al-Jawf province, while fighting within the ranks of the Yemeni army and popular committees against the Saudi-led coalition that has been waging war on Yemen since March 2015.
The so-called “Bedouins” (armed men who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, fighting alongside with coalition) tried to kill him, and then there was a fight between them and they decided to capture him, Majid told Al-Thawra Newspaper.
“They took me to al-Hazm area in al-Jawf province, and then to Marib General Hospital. I have experienced severe pain all the way without giving me any Tranquilizer pills,” he added.
In Marib province, an Indian doctor told me that I had been infected with the liver virus, even though I had carried out a medical check before going to al-Maslub district and wasn’t infected. They gave me blood contaminated with the virus at al-Hazm hospital,” he said.
The investigative journalist listened to testimonies of more than 20 prisoners, who were released in prisoners swap between the Supreme Political Council and the mercenary authorities of the Saudi regime through local authorities, and all those released said that they had been subjected to various forms of physical, psychological torture and sexual harassment.
In the al-Saleh Institute prison, where Majid was taken, investigations began despite his injuries.
I asked them not to beat me because I am injured and I will answer all their questions, he said, adding , ” While I was answering their questions, one of them slapped me on the face strongly, then a headsman named “Abu Qasha’a” (nickname) stepped with his foot on the my broken thighs, and then he grabbed me at the base of fixing the nails and lifted me. I screamed until I almost lost consciousness. The wounds in my leg were sore and they sent me back to the hospital.”
Attempted Sexual Assault
Majid spent four months in Marib Hospital with 12 others in one room. He reported that a jailer (shawsha) in the hospital named ” Mounir” practiced daily torture of the wounded.
He added: “I watched him trample on someone’s mouth more than once.He also tried to sexually assault a wounded young man, who was not 18 years old, if it weren’t for the intervention of the Indian nurse.
“Mounir was hitting my leg hard or raising it to the highest level and throwing it away until I screamed in pain, or grabbed me in the break and pulled me out, repeating these actions almost daily,” Majid said.
In the hospital, only once every 24 hours is allowed to enter the toilet. This was confirmed those who listened to their testimonies, and they believe that the suffering of the hospital is more severe than of the prison, as one of them says “I wish I had stayed in prison without taking me to hospital”.
“The gunmen came with a number of wounded, where the bullets were spread over their bodies, and days later the lying room in the hospital was teeming with the smell of dead bodies, ” Majid added.
He continued: the nurse told me that organs of their bodies died and needed to be amputated.”
After Majid was sent back to prison, he stayed in his clothes given to him by the Indian nurse for a year, that was a square piece of wool amid to cover his sensitive areas of his body.
“In three years, they only changed our clothes twice, while we were allowed to wash them only twice a year, and the torture continued,” he says.
“One day “Abu Qasha’a” stepped on my legs. He’s a very harsh man, hitting anywhere in the body,” Majid recalls.
Torture Of Detainees
Torture inside Marib prisons is not confined to prisoners. “Many of the traveling civilians are detained at the crossing points in Marib governorate on a regional, racial and dynastic basis, and are also subjected to torture without guilt,” said Abdul Qader al-Mortadha, head of the prisoners’ committee of the National Delegation and the representative of the Supreme Political Council.
Mustafa al-Matari (28 years), was arrested at the point of Fallujah in Marib on August 7, 2017, while he was on his way to Cairo to study master, after graduating from Queen Arwa University in Sanaa before the start of the war on Yemen.
He told Al-Thawra Newspaper: “I stayed a week in court before the interrogation, and then they started interrogating me and accusing me of being a Houthi and a member of GPC. After that, I stayed three months with 85 detainees in court. Many of the people in the basement have psychological problems.”
In the court, the bathroom was bursting twice a month, filling the basement and staying for three days before repairing it. “We slept in wastewater days,” Mustafa said.
Continuous Hours Of Torture
Four months is the time Ibrahim spent in al-Saleh Prison before he was transferred to the political prison. He remembers that period bitterly. The torture last for three hours at times.
”We slept for months on the tiles while the color of the urine coming out of us was similar to the berry juice because of torture and kicking in the abdomen and on the kidneys” Ibrahim said.
There are many types of torture used against prisoners and detainees in Marib prisons, and they are practiced on a daily basis. The prisoners and detainees live in an unsuitable living situation, which makes them vulnerable to epidemics and deadly diseases such as cholera and various skin diseases such as scabies and beetles, kidneys and gangrene.
Dr. Amir Eddine Jahaf, who was arrested at the point of Fallujah while he was on his way to Cairo to complete his university (medical) study that he started in 2013 with a grant from the Yemeni government at the time.
Death in prison, one of the survivors of Marib prisons says: “We saw a prisoner who was suffering from a psychological condition, and he was infected with cholera. The prisoner suffered friction in his spine as a result of torture », and Dr. Jahaf was beaten because he gave the injection to a prisoner.
“The prison doctor was also an executioner, and he beat us on the alleged reason that we didn’t take the medicine,” said another survivor. According to testimonies of the survivors, one of the prisoners, an elderly man, suffered a curvature in his back and gangrene in the injured foot. The jailers tortured a prisoner named Hussein until he lost his mobility.
Monitoring And Statistics
Al-Murtadha the head of the prisoners committees announced on his Twitter page that three prisoners were killed in Marib prisons under torture ” Khalid Al-Qurashi, Mohammed Al-Mahbashi and Ahmad Jahmous”. He stressed that the repetition of these crimes indicates that they are directed by the highest leaders in the countries of aggression and their mercenaries.
Sam Organization For Rights and Liberties (independent human rights organization) monitored during the four years of the war on Yemen more than three thousand cases of torture in prisons, of which (800) cases only in 2018, some practiced individually and others collectively which some of them led to death according to last year July report.
According to the report, “the number of civilians killed under torture during this period amounted to 158 cases, including 56 cases in 2018, including 30 deaths in prisons affiliated with the legitimate forces other than Taiz, in which 10 prisoners were killed in the prisons controlled by the UAE”
The areas of legitimacy that are not mentioned in Sam report and they are likely to be in Marib.
Sam Organization cited a number of methods of torture practiced against detainees in these prisons, including: »kicking, beatings with batons and metal bars, burning, deprivation of food and water, also included the executions phantom, suspension for long hours, sexual harassment the use of sniffer dogs, burial pits sand, the use of drugs stimulant, spraying with cold water, deprivation of the visit, and mock trials.
The “Humanity Eye” Center for Rights and Development (Sana’a-based human rights organization) monitored 14 prisons in Marib governorate where prisoners and detainees are subjected to various types of physical , psychological torture, the dispossession of money sent to them by the people, exposure to insults, ridicule, burning, ironing, electric shocks, nails, erosion and health neglect ,and the prevention from preforming of religious rites.
“At al-Saleh Prison they were only giving us two minutes to defecate” said al-Wattari. “Abu Farouk (an interrogator) assaulted a prisoner while he was in the toilet in the bathroom because of his delay, and he repeated this with several prisoners. “We saw him kicking them from their behind naked outside” he added.
The released detainees tell the details of their transfer between the prisons.” They moved us blindfolded on the back of vehicles to transport soldiers where the crowd twice the number and then put them on them Tarbal (flexible plastic cover) shielded them from the sun and the gunmen step on their necks.”
“They went out every evening, took our clothes off and put us on mosquitoes” he says. ” five people kicked me on my kidneys, chest, and even my face” he added.
Torture continued for some prisoners and detainees for three years, even with the end of the investigation period, which led some of them to attempt suicide, as confirmed (11) prisoners who escaped from Marib prisons, who spoke to the investigator.
“Many of the detainees tried to commit suicide late at night by trying to hang themselves in clothes” says one
During the interrogation, torture intensifies in an attempt to extract confessions from prisoners and detainees, after which they are forced to sign many papers they do not know the content of.
Sexual And Physical Torture
Some detainees in Marib were subjected to sexual torture in different ways.
According to some survivors. “They put a broomstick in the anus of one of the detainees to extract a confession” says a survivor.
Another survivor adds “Tying the testicles, hanging five liters of water on them, trying to sexually assault two teenagers, and beating them violently because they shouted loudly at that attempt.”
The executioners, who used fame names to camouflage their real names, carried out repeated torture parties against detainees and prisoners. “They beat a prisoner with a stick on his head until he fainted, and every day he lost his balance as he rose to the bathroom.
Abu Qasha’a, another executioner, was coming to prison every three days, one day he beat one of the prisoners while praying, while Abu Laith whipped the inmates of Al-Saleh Institute on Eid al-Adha because they demanded better food for Eid, as some survivors confirmed.
Even An Ally Has No Place
Torture in Marib prisons is not confined to prisoners and detainees traveling, but also for supporters of the coalition as well.
They torture supporters of the coalition for their rebellion or betrayal of close to the powerful enemy in the province.
one survivor (from Ibb governorate and from Islah party) says that he was detained for one and a half years during which he received the most severe torture without having committed any guilt to be ejected and then apologize to him verbally.
“We burst into the cell in tears when we saw him, and blood covered his head, face, and clothes,” said Saliba. They beat him until we lost hope in Xavier, for no reason other than that he inquired why he was held for more than three months without moving his file.
Saliba added that they kicked another detainee backing the coalition in the neck until they killed him.
“One of the detainees was an amputated left foot, a fighter on their side, in al-Jawf,” Majid al-Wattari said. “They imprisoned him for stealing a military vehicle”
. During the preparation of the investigation, we found a document containing a complaint filed by the heirs of Lieutenant Dhaifallah Al-Sawadi, to the Attorney General of the mercenary authorities in Marib, that their father was subjected to torture in secret detention centers in Marib governorate.
We were notified on 2 September 2018 that he was a dead body in the Authority’s Hospital in Marib. According to the document issued by the Attorney General to the Appeals Prosecution in the province on the 21st of the same month, Al-Sawadi was referred by the military police command to intelligence and then forcibly hidden.
Many prisoners and detainees are suffering psychological conditions because of the torture. “They were handcuffing and assaulting people, including a young economics graduate – Syria, who was in a psychological state of aggression,” says Mustafa al-Matari. In the PSO prison, more than 30 patients were mentally ill, according to survivors.
The living conditions of prisoners and detainees in Marib prisons are no different from the health, psychological and physical conditions. Survivors say each detainee only has two liters of water in the bathroom per day, while the same amount is reserved for a whole cell for drink.
“We kept days and nights of hunger,” said Mustafa sadly. “The bread was rotten.” Majid adds: “The small salty piece of cheese came to us one day a week and each room a piece.” “Some insects were in our food.”
According to the standards of international laws and conventions on the rights of prisoners, the Marib prisoners are subjected to a violation of the Third Geneva Convention (August 12, 1949), article 13 of which states that prisoners of war must be treated humanely at all times.
An unlawful act or negligence that causes the death of a prisoner in its custody and is a serious violation of this Convention.
Prisoners of war must be protected at all times, in particular against all acts of violence or threats, against insults and the curiosity of the masses.
It also contravenes articles 25, 26, 27 and 28 of Chapter II of the Convention itself with regard to food, drink and clothing, and Articles 29, 31 of Chapter III of the Convention concerning medical conditions and health care, as well as Article 34. Of the Convention, which states that “prisoners of war shall have complete freedom to practice their religion, including attendance at religious meetings of their faith, provided that they observe the usual statutory measures prescribed by the military authorities”, in addition to violating many articles of the Convention ratified by Yemen in 16 July 1970.
Rights And Mediator
We gathered information and contacted several international humanitarian and human rights organizations, including the Red Cross as a mediator in the exchange of prisoners and detainees, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, to answer our questions about abuses by the Muslim Brotherhood, which runs Marib under the umbrella of the Hadi government and supported Of the coalition forces.
Nearly a month later, there was no response from Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch, but we were able to reach the ICRC’s regional spokeswoman, Sarah Zogari, who told us that “the nature of the Red Cross’s work does not allow them to make any press statements about What they see in prison, and if there are violations, they discusses this with the direct authorities confidentially.
A number of prisoners say that they did not notice the presence of an organization during a three-year prison, including the Red Cross. “There are great challenges that prevent us from reaching several prisons in Yemen,” al- Zogari said. Unless there are prior assurances from the authorities that the place is within their control, and the lack of cooperation of one party or another with us in granting these guarantees, and the presence of places we do not know, and the multiplicity and difference with each other, impede our access to the place imposed, we would have visited some . We work hard to alleviate their suffering and communication with their parents and to check on their health and seek Improve the health and living situation, she added.
For his part, says Al-Murtadha: “We have facilitated the task of the Red Cross and it is fully aware of all the prisons where the prisoners are located in the areas of the Supreme Political Council, while the Cross or any other organization was unable to access prisons in Marib.”
In the same context, says the Human Rights Council in its latest report issued on 29 September 2019: “The team of experts received several reports on cases of arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance in Yemeni areas, including Abu al-Abbas Brigades detention centers in Taiz, and places of detention It is affiliated to Islah party (unnamed), and includes political and social figures and activists, but the investigations into this have not been completed in time to include them .”
While waiting for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to respond to our questions, we have information from an Interior Ministry official in Marib’s mercenary authority about the prison situation and the fact that international organizations are not allowed to visit them. A few months ago, representatives of international organizations said that the visit to Marib was precarious under the justification of the spread of al-Qaeda on the way to the governorate. In fact, Saudi Arabia’s aggressive mercenary authorities do not want to be exposed because they torture detainees and prisoners in Guantanamo-style .
We now have sufficient evidence of physical, psychological and sexual torture of prisoners and detainees in Marib prisons and detention centers, which “are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood under the umbrella of legitimacy and supported by Saudi Arabia,” as al-Murtadha accuses.
The author of the investigation confirmed, saying: We decided to confront the officials in the Ministry of Interior to allow them to respond to our own evidence, we initiated contact with them on the official figures of the ministry, it was said that «officials are abroad», we sent them by Social media ( WhatsApp and Senegal and Imo), for more than a month, no one responded.”
In the Stockholm agreement, which brought together the national delegation with the Riyadh delegation in December 2018, it was agreed to conduct an exchange of prisoners between the two parties, but nothing of this has happened in reality.Al-Murtadha says that “obstructing the other party to the prisoners’ file is evaded from it so as not to expose the existence of torture of prisoners and deaths as a result “.
Done by Investigative Journalist/ Abdul Qader Othman
Translated by / Al-Thawra Net Staff