Alert: Another Yemeni Disappears After Arrest

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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9 April 2008

Alert: Another Yemeni disappears after arrest

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action Required
4. Sample Letters

1. Summary

A 26-year-old Yemeni national, Ibrahem Al-Nashery disappeared after his arrest on 5 March 2008. The Yemeni authorities accuse him of being involved in a Zaidi Shia group, with which the government has been in serious clashes for the past few years. Al-Nashery’s family fears that he is likely to face torture or physical abuse in prison, since one of his friends, who was arrested earlier, died in custody from negligence and suspected torture. It is a disturbing fact that cases of human rights abuse and religious persecution are becoming widespread in Yemen.

2. Background

A 26-year-old Yemeni national, Ibrahem Ali Al-Nashery, has not been heard from since his arrest on 5 March 2008 at Sana’a International Airport.

The Yemeni police had searched Al-Nashery’s house in August 2007 to arrest him but they were unable to find him as he had been in France for the past few months. The police thus informed his mother that Al-Nashery was wanted because he was accused of being one of the followers of Husain Badr al-Din al-Houthi, a cleric of the Zaidi Shia group, ‘The Believing Youth.’ They also informed her that they had arrested Al-Nashery’s friend, Hashem Abdullah Yahya Hajar, on the same accusations. Al-Nashery’s family, however, has reportedly confirmed that Al-Nashery had no relation to the Al-Houthi group.

Hajar, who was arrested a couple of months before Al-Nashery on 7 June 2007, died in detention on 30 September 2007. His death was reportedly attributed to the failure of the Yemeni prison authorities to provide him with essential medical care that he required for his serious illness. Torture marks were alleged to be found on his body after death. (To read more about Hajar’s case, please visit https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2941)

Soon after Hajar’s death, Al-Nashery applied for asylum in France in October 2007, fearing a similar fate for himself if he was to return to Yemen. However, he returned to Yemen on 5 March 2008, after a peace deal was signed by Yemeni authorities on 1 February 2008, to halt the ongoing sectarian violence in the country. Nevertheless, Al-Nashery was arrested at the airport by Yemeni police and his family was informed that he would be released after a few hours of questioning.

The police have not released Al-Nashery since his arrest and his whereabouts are still unknown. His family members have not been informed of his location and have been unable to contact him. They are very concerned about his welfare and fear that he may suffer a similar fate to his friend, Hajar who died in detention due to negligence and alleged torture.

IHRC had reported about two other such cases of disappearance in Yemen in 2006. Ali Ali Amen Nader and Mohamed Ahmed Al-Yaremi disappeared after they were arrested in Sana’a in June 2006 and August 2006 respectively, on similar accusations of being supporters of Al-Houthi. Nader was killed in November 2006 by the Yemeni police while he was trying to escape whereas Al-Yaremi is still missing. According to reports there were obvious marks of torture on Nader’s body.

For more details about their case, please visit: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2135 and https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2415

The Yemeni authorities have been in serious clashes with Al-Houthi and his followers. In 2004 there were mass uprisings in northern Yemen between the two, in which Al-Houthi was eventually killed.

3. Action Required

a. Write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country, urging him/her to raise this issue with his/her Yemeni counterparts to express your concerns regarding the imprisonment of the Yemeni civilians.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 20 7839 2417
Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk

b. Write to the Yemeni Ambassador in your country urge him to intercede on behalf of Al-Nashery and to ensure that he receives a fair trial.

UK campaigners can write to:

HE Mr. Mohamed Taha Mustafa
Embassy of the Republic of Yemen
57 Cromwell Road
London
SW7 2ED

Fax: +44 0207 589 3350
Email: yemen.embassy@btconnect.com

4. Sample letters

Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to Foreign Minister in your country

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr Miliband,

Re: Appeal for immediate release of Yemeni civilian in detention

I am writing to you to request the immediate release of Ibrahem Ali Al-Nashery who was arrested by the Yemeni police on 5 March 2008, at Sana’a International Airport.

Mr Al-Nashery has been accused of being a follower of Husain Badr Al Din al Houthi, leader of the Zaidi Shia group ‘The Believing Youth.’ However, his family has confirmed that he has no connection with this group. The police have not released Al-Nashery since his arrest and his whereabouts are still unknown.

His family is very concerned about his welfare as the Yemeni police had arrested his friend, Hashem Abdullah Yahya Hajar, in June 2007 on similar accusations, but he died a few months after his arrest owing to negligence by the Yemeni authorities regarding his serious illness. It is suspected that he was tortured as well.

Further, I am aware of two other cases of Yemeni individuals who were arrested on similar accusations in 2006 and then disappeared thereafter. One of them, Ali Amen Nader, was killed as he tried to escape custody, while the second, Mohamed Al-Yaremi, is still missing.

It seems that cases of human rights abuse and religious persecution are becoming widespread in Yemen. I request you to urge the Yemeni authorities to investigate the above-mentioned cases of human rights abuse and to respect the rights of all residents and grant them freedom to practice their religion.

Further, I request you to urge the Yemeni government to ensure the welfare of Mr Al-Nashery and treat him in accordance with international human rights standards. If the Yemeni authorities believe him to have committed a crime, he should be offered a fair trial with full access to independent legal representation. Otherwise, he should be released without delay.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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Sample Letter to the Yemeni Ambassador

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

HE Mr. Mohamed Taha Mustafa
57 Cromwell Road
London
SW7 2ED

Dear Mr. Mustafa,

Re: Appeal for immediate release of Yemeni civilian in detention

I am writing to you to request the immediate release of Ibrahem Ali Al-Nashery who was arrested by the Yemeni police on 5 March 2008, at Sana’a International Airport.

Mr Al-Nashery has been accused of being a follower of Husain Badr Al Din al Houthi, leader of the Zaidi Shia group ‘The Believing Youth.’ However, his family has confirmed that he has no connection with this group. The police have not released Al-Nashery since his arrest and his whereabouts are still unknown.

His family is very concerned about his welfare as the Yemeni police had arrested his friend, Hashem Abdullah Yahya Hajar, in June 2007 on similar accusations, but he died a few months after his arrest owing to negligence by the Yemeni authorities regarding his serious illness. It is suspected that he was tortured as well.

Further, I am aware of two other cases of Yemeni individuals who were arrested on similar accusations in 2006 and then disappeared thereafter. One of them, Ali Amen Nader, was killed as he tried to escape custody, while the second, Mohamed Al-Yaremi, is still missing.

It seems that cases of human rights abuse and religious persecution are becoming widespread in Yemen. I urge you to ensure that the above-mentioned cases of human rights abuse are investigated and that all Yemeni residents are granted their basic rights and are allowed to practice their religion freely.

Further, please ensure that Mr Al-Nashery is treated in accordance with international human rights standards. If the Yemeni authorities believe him to have committed a crime, he should be offered a fair trial with full access to independent legal representation. Otherwise, he should be released without delay.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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