Ahmad Maher, a 28-year-old journalist from Yemen, is currently detained and on a hunger strike. He was arrested by security forces in Aden on August 6, 2022. Ahmad is demanding a fair trial as concerns for his health grow. Ahmad faces trial at the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Aden for allegedly spreading false news and using forged identity documents. His arrest and the charges against him raise serious human rights concerns. Reports indicate Ahmad was tortured during police interrogations, aiming to force a confession from him. He’s been denied crucial healthcare and his trial rights have been severely violated, making his detention arbitrary.
How You Can Help: Write for Ahmad’s Rights
Write to the President of the Southern Transitional Council through the Ambassador, urging him to:
- Drop all charges against Ahmad Maher solely related to the exercise of his human rights.
- Release him unless tried for internationally recognizable offences in proceedings meeting international standards for fair trial, excluding “confessions” extracted under torture or duress.
- Ensure that Ahmad Maher is protected from further torture and other ill-treatment and that he is given, without delay, access to adequate medical care and regular access to his lawyer and family.
His Excellency Jamal Abdullah Yahya AL-SALLAL
Embassy of the Republic of Yemen
54 Chamberlain Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1S 1V9
Tel: (613) 729-6627 Fax: (613) 729-8915
***If you are on X (formerly Twitter), you can message the President of the Southern Transitional Council, Major General Aidaros Alzubidi through his handle, @AidrosAlzubidi
Maher’s Forced “Confession” and Ongoing Detention
On September 4, 2022, a video of Ahmad Maher was shared widely, showing him admitting to serious crimes. This video, scrutinized by Amnesty International, casts doubts on its legitimacy, suggesting it undermines Ahmad’s right to be presumed innocent. Notably, this “confession” wasn’t overseen by legal authorities.
Shortly after the video’s release, Ahmad Maher was questioned again, this time admitting he was coerced into confessing. Despite his plea for medical attention due to the duress experienced, his requests were denied, further complicating his situation.
By mid-September 2022, Ahmad Maher found himself in Bir Ahmad prison, isolated from any legal support. This move underscores the challenging conditions under which he’s being held.
Widespread Human Rights Violations in Yemen’s Conflict
The broader context in Yemen reveals a disturbing pattern of human rights abuses, affecting many, especially those like Ahmad who dare to speak out. Reports from the UN and other organizations in 2023 highlight the severe mistreatment, including torture and forced disappearances, particularly targeting journalists and dissenting voices.
Amnesty International’s findings in 2018, shed light on the systemic issues within Yemen, including arbitrary detentions based on suspicion or retaliation. These reports serve as a call to action for global awareness and intervention to uphold human rights in Yemen.
Join the call for justice and fair treatment for Ahmad Maher and countless others facing unjust persecution in Yemen. Your voice can contribute to the global demand for human rights and dignity for all.
Please send your appeals until March 22, 2024. If there’s the need for further action after that date, the UA will be duly updated.