YEMEN: Arbitrarily detained journalist released

Download a copy of the 2nd UA 69/22 below

On December 7, the Huthi de facto authorities released journalist Younis Abdelsalam. The 28-year-old was arbitrarily detained since August 4, 2021 in Sana’a, Yemen, by the Huthis without charge or trial for peacefully opposing the authorities. During his detention, he was enforcedly disappeared for several weeks, detained in solitary confinement and in incommunicado detention, and denied access to adequate medical care.


Younis Abdelsalam, 28-year-old Yemeni journalist, was released on December 7 after being arbitrarily detained by the Huthi de facto authorities for more than a year in the Security and Intelligence detention center in Sana’a, Yemen.

On August 4 2021, Younis Abdelsalam was arbitrarily detained by the Huthi security forces in Sana’a while taking a walk at night in his neighbourhood in al-Ghadeer area. He was held for one night in an underground cell in an unofficial detention center next to Sana’a international airport before he was transferred to a Huthi-run security and intelligence detention center in Sana’a. According to his brother, Younis Abdelsalam was handcuffed and left to urinate on himself in the underground cell. During interrogation, the security forces slapped and kicked him. Throughout his detention, he was not charged, nor did he appear before a judge. His lawyer was also not allowed to visit him or speak to him since his arrest. According to Younis Abdelsalam’s brother, he was detained for peacefully opposing the authorities.

Following his arbitrary arrest, Younis Abdelsalam was enforcedly disappeared for several weeks, held in solitary confinement for 80 days and in incommunicado detention for at least three months.

On January 19, 2022, his lawyer submitted a request to the Special Criminal Prosecution to release Younis Abdelsalam on the basis that his detention is arbitrary. One month later, the Security and Intelligences Services asked the family to pay money for his release. The family paid the money, but Abdelsalam was not released. The Security and Intelligence Services then informed the family that his case would be transferred to the Specialized Criminal Prosecution, instead.

Amnesty International reviewed a medical report which mentions that Younis Abdelsalam suffers from a mental health condition that requires regular medical follow up and treatment. According to his brother, while detained, Younis Abdelsalam was denied adequate healthcare despite the deterioration of his mental health due to the detention conditions.

In a message to Amnesty International, Younis Abdelsalam’s brother thanked the movement for campaigning for Younis Abdelsalam’s release.