ACJ: Kidnapping 2 educational experts by the Houthi group is a violation that requires action, and we call for their release
  • 17/04/2024

    Michigan - The American Center for Justice (ACJ) stated that the Houthi group had kidnapped the two educational experts, Dr. Mohamed Hatem Al-Mekhlafi, 65 years old, and Mujib Mahyoub Al-Mekhlafi, 52 years old, for about 6 months, without revealing their whereabouts or health condition. The center stressed that the Houthi group committed the crime of extrajudicial kidnapping and the crime of forced disappearance, calling on the group to take urgent action, reveal their fate, and release them immediately without conditions.

    The (ACJ) indicates that the information it obtained from several sources close to the families of the kidnapped Dr. “Al-Mekhlafi” and the colleagues of the two educational experts showed that the Houthi de facto authority in Sana’a kidnapped Dr. "Mohamed Al-Mekhlafi" and "Mujib Al-Mekhlafi", on October 10 and 12, 2023, without bringing any charges against them or allowing their families to visit them or disclosing the place of their detention.

    The families of the two detainees expressed their deep concern about the lives of the two detainees, especially with their deteriorating health conditions and their suffering from several chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and asthma, in addition to the uncertainty of their conditions and their inability to communicate with them except twice during the month of Ramadan.

    Dr. Mohamed Hatem Al-Mekhlafi is a strategic expert for public education and literacy systems in Yemen, in addition to his work as a faculty member and dean of a number of colleges of education at Sana’a University. Mujib Mahyoub Al-Mekhlafi is an educational expert, preparer of training packages, chief educational trainer, and former director of administration in the Ministry of Education.

    According to information obtained by the American Center for Justice, the disappearance of the two experts was preceded by the Houthi authorities’ kidnapping of both “Sabri Al-Hakimi” and “Hisham Al-Hakimi”, who were kidnapped under the same circumstances and at the same time. Their bodies were released after they died inside the group's prisons due to the torture they had been subjected to in the group's prisons, and they were buried without their bodies being presented to impartial medical authorities to determine the causes of their death. The Houthi group also forced their family to receive condolences without handing them the bodies.

    According to an educational source, the Houthi group is practicing abuse against the staff of the Ministry of Education, which has become a clear target for the group. 

    (ACJ) notes that several sources close to the victims confirmed, during their communication with the Center, that the kidnapping of all the educational experts was the result of a false report related to their role in writing curricula for the first grades under the auspices and supervision of international organizations such as “UNICEF.” These experts were accused of being behind international reports accusing the Houthis of committing a number of violations related to children’s rights in Yemen.

    The ACJ confirms that what the Houthi group did was a complex crime of kidnapping civilians without legal justification or a judicial order, and forcibly disappearing them, which is punishable by both Yemeni and international law.

    The American Center for Justice (ACJ) calls on the Houthi group to immediately reveal the fate of the abductees and release them urgently. The Center emphasized that the issue of kidnapping and torturing educators and the killing of many of them inside the group’s prisons needs to open an immediate and impartial investigation in order to find out the details of these serious violations and bring all those involved to justice.