PRESS RELEASE: Yemeni Student Dies in Detention

Islamic Human Rights Commission

9 October 2007

PRESS RELEASE: Yemeni Student Dies in Detention

IHRC is deeply concerned about the death of Hashem Abdullah Yahya Hajar, a 25-year-old student, who died in detention, a few hours after he was transferred from the Central Prison in Sana’a to a nearby hospital, on 30 September 2007.

Mr Hajar was detained on 7 June 2007 on charges of being involved in a Zaidi Shia group, lead by Husain Badr Al Din al Houthi.

Mr Hajar’s family believes that the Yemeni prison authorities are to blame, who did not provide him adequate medical attention during his five-month detention, despite his acute medical conditions. According to a medical report, Mr Hajar was suffering from ‘chronic liver disease, hypertension, and congestive splenomegaly.’ Hence, he required continuous supervision and was advised to rest and take no stress.

Owing to his serious medical conditions, many journalists and human rights activists pressed the Yemeni authorities to transfer him to hospital for immediate medical attention, but the authorities deliberately failed to take action until a few hours before his death.

IHRC Chairman, Massoud Shadjareh stated:

“It is painful to see such blatant disregard for human life, especially during the month of Ramadan, when Muslims are commanded to be even more merciful and sensitive to the needs of their fellow human beings. What is more worrying is the fact that this behaviour is not an exception in Yemen but has become a norm.”

IHRC calls on the Yemeni government to release all political prisoners, to implement due process and to respect human rights of all citizens.

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or email

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
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United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
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