The American Center for Justice (ACJ) Calls for a Judicial Investigation into the Death of a Child in a Prison in Hodeidah Governorate

American Center for Justice (ACJ) calls on the judicial authorities in Hodeidah governorate, which is under the control of the Houthi group, to conduct a neutral judicial investigation into the reasons for the arrest and death of the 17-year-old girl, Amira Ali, in the prison of the Security Department of Bait al-Faqih District in Hodeidah governorate, hours after her arrest.

Amira’s family had been shocked when she gave birth. She told them that an educational and powerful person in the area had raped her by force while she was going to get fodder for the cows and threatened her that if she spoke about what happened to her, he would imprison her brothers and expel her family from the village.

On Thursday, November 25, 2021, her family and the people of Al-Anbariya village in the Beit Al-Faqih district submitted a report about the crime and demanded the arrest of the accused, as well as interrogating and referring him to the competent authorities and taking legal measures. However, the police department arrested the child Amira with the accused and put them in the directorate prison on the same day she gave birth to her child, without taking into account her health conditions and without legal justification since she did not commit any hostile crime, except being a victim of rape.

(A.L), one of the villagers, told the American Center for Justice that Amira’s brother went to visit her at 8 am on the second day, and the security personnel informed him that she was in a fainting state. He asked them to transfer her to the hospital, but they refused until the director of security came. The director of the security department was late 10 am. Then she was transferred to a medical center in the district where died an hour later.

Latifa Jamel, head of the American Center for Justice, said: The arrest of a child under the legal age and her imprisonment without legal justifications are systematic violations committed by the Houthi authorities constantly and without fear of accountability because the international community and international organizations were satisfied with the condemnations, not to mention the neutral language used by the international community, which the Houthi considered as an approval to commit his daily crimes against civilians, especially the most vulnerable groups of women and children, if not by direct killing, then death during arrest or detention.

Jamel added that the family of the 17 year-old Amira from Hodeidah complained to the Houthis about the rape of their daughter by a powerful person while bringing food to their cow, which proves that Amira was helping to support this family, and that what she was exposed to tells the reality of many Yemeni children and women.

The Center expresses its deep regret for the wide and grave violations that Yemeni children are subjected to in light of the continuation of the war and the absence of all protection and care institutions. And pressure to prosecute those accused of violations. It calls on the international community, local and international organizations and official institutions concerned with the protection and care of children to confront these violations and provide protection for children, especially in remote areas and conflict areas, and put pressure on the prosecution of those accused of committing violations.

The Center also calls for the speedy conduct of an independent judicial investigation into the reasons for the arrest and death of the child Amira and inflicting the appropriate punishment on the one who caused that death.

American Center for Justice (ACJ)

December 27, 2021

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