It called on the international community to take urgent action

(ACJ): The Houthi group is preparing to execute an accused of collaborating with “aggression countries”
  • 18/01/2024

    Michigan - The American Center for Justice (ACJ) said that the judicial and executive authorities in Sana'a are preparing to implement the death sentence against “Muhammad Yahya Muhammad Ibrahim,” 38 years old, based on the ruling issued by the Specialized Criminal Court, which was supported by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The center indicated that it has obtained certain information confirming that these parties will - this week - present the ruling to the head of the Political Council in Sana'a to approve the implementation of the ruling against the backdrop of political charges. 

    The ACJ indicates that it reviewed the case file “Mohamed Ibrahim,” which included police, security, and intelligence reports, prosecution investigations, and judgments that contained many violations. The whole case began when “Muhammad Ibrahim” received a call in early December 2016 from an officer in the Political Security in the Abs District, ordering him to come to the Directorate. The victim went to him and the officer told him that he was wanted by the director of political security in the governorate, “Abu Hamza.” The victim went to Hajjah governorate to meet the so-called “Abu Hamza,” who asked him to wait for five days until an investigation officer arrived from Sana’a.

    The prosecution’s investigation records included a statement by “Mohamed Ibrahim” before the prosecutor about the torture he was subjected to at by members of the Houthi group. He said, "They tortured me by hanging, beating, and spraying water. They interrogated me forcefully, and the torture continued for 11 days. They beat me on the sensitive areas of my body, and threatened to bring my son and imprison him with me. They also called my wife and said, 'This is your wife. She will confess, or we will put her in prison with you."

    He added, "They forced me to confess that I know the Saudi officer (Ahmed Kharmi). Then they transferred me to the security and intelligence prison in Sana'a and interrogated me under torture. One night, they removed the covers from my eyes and asked me to put my fingerprint on the investigation reports, but I refused. They beat me and sent me back to prison. They asked the jailor to lock me in a solitary confinment and prevent me from communicating with any one  and receiving vistors until I signed the reports. On another day, they summoned me for investigation and asked me to fingerprint the records. They brought me into a room where there were someone was hunged and told me that if I did not fingerprint, they would hung me. They videotaped me confessing under duress and pressure about what the investigators asked of me.”

    The American Center for Justice (ACJ) pointed out that when the prosecution asked “Mohamed Ibrahim” about the nature of the coercion he was subjected to, he answered, “The torture that I mentioned to you, and also the threat of rape, as they brought me in front of a large, black-skinned person and told me that if you didn't not confess, they would allow that person to rape you.”

    It is noteworthy here that the victim was forcibly disappeared in the Security and Intelligence Service for 10 months without his family knowing any information about him or his whereabouts. On July 9, 2018, the Criminal Prosecution referred “Mohamed Ibrahim” to trial on charges of divulging information for individuals working for the aggression countries that are at war with the Republic of Yemen. He was accused of sending information about the locations of the army, the popular committees, and weapons stores in the Saada and Hajjah governorates via social media and other methods. 

    On July 14, 2018, the victim appeared before the Criminal Court of First Instance to be tried on these charges. He was sentenced to death in the same session without a lawyer representing him before the court. This ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and it was decided to refer his file during the current week to the Political Council in Sana’a to approve the implementation of the sentence. 

    The ACJ stresses that the current death sentence is not the first of its kind, as the group’s record is full of hundreds of similar sentences. Some of them were even carried out, most notably the group’s execution of 9 people in September 2021 on charges of killing one of its leaders. The Center stressed that the continued silence of the international community, especially the United Nations regarding the rulings that lack the minimum fair trial procedures will pave the way for the Houthi group to issue similar rulings with greater frequency.

    (ACJ) calls on the Houthi group to stop the implementation of the death sentence against “Mohamed Ibrahim” and to stop executing civilians in the absence of a fair, impartial and independent judiciary.

    The Center also urged the UN and American envoy, the United Nations, and international human rights organizations to take urgent action and put pressure on the group to stop political trials against individuals, as well as using the judiciary like a tool of revenge to pursue its opponents, stressing the importance of making all efforts by the international community to stop death sentences and ensure the release of all detainees inside detention centers, who were detained during ongoing conflict in Yemen.