Responding to reports that Abdulrasheed al-Faqih, the Executive Director of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, was arrested this morning while on his way to Sey’oun airport in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla, Samah Hadid, Middle East Campaigns Director at Amnesty International, said:
“Abdulrasheed al- Faqih is one of Yemen’s most prominent human rights defenders and has worked tirelessly to expose the myriad human rights abuses committed by all parties in Yemen’s brutal conflict. He was arrested this morning by security forces affiliated to the internationally recognized Yemeni government while travelling to seek medical treatment, and we are now extremely concerned for his safety.
“Unfortunately, Abdulrasheed al-Faqih’s courage and dedication have made him the target of repeated harassment, and prior to his arrest today he was detained by Huthi forces on several occasions. We fear he has been arrested – yet again – solely for his human rights work; and if this is the case he must be released immediately and unconditionally, and allowed to travel and seek the medical treatment that he needs.
“Mwatana, the human rights organization that Abdulrasheed al-Faqih heads, has provided invaluable independent reporting and documentation of airstrikes and ground attacks, extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, arbitrary detention, violations of women’s rights, enforced disappearances, and many other human rights issues in Yemen. Yemen and the world cannot afford to allow Abdulrasheed al-Faqih’s calls for accountability and justice to be silenced.”