• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: JOURNALIST SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN JAIL (Yemen 4.24)

July 8, 2024

On May 28, 2024, the Aden-based Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) sentenced journalist, Ahmad Maher, to four years in prison following a grossly unfair trial on charges of disseminating false and misleading news and forging identity documents. Ahmad Maher was arrested on August 6, 2022 by security forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) de facto authorities in Aden. During interrogations at the Dar Sa’ad police station, security forces subjected him to torture and other ill-treatment to force him to “confess” to being involved in an attack on Dar Sa’ad police station in March 2022. He was denied access to adequate healthcare including for injuries sustained as a result of torture. He was also denied the right to adequate defense, to access a lawyer of his choosing, to presumption of innocence, and not to self-incriminate, rendering his detention arbitrary.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE UNTIL: December 25, 2024

take action:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Second Urgent Action 4.24. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

contact information:

Major General Aidros Alzubidi

President of the Southern Transitional Council

Twitter/X: @AidrosAlzubidi

sample letter:

Dear Major General Aidros Alzubidi,

I am concerned to learn that the Aden-based Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) sentenced journalist, Ahmad Maher, 29, to four years in prison. According to a relative, Ahmad Maher was sentenced on charges of disseminating false and misleading news, a crime that is not recognized under international law, and forging identity documents in a hearing that lasted only five minutes. 

Following his arrest, he was detained at Dar Sa’ad police station for over a month, during which he was denied family visits and access to a lawyer. According to a relative, Ahmad Maher was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment daily, including through beatings, water boarding, electric shocks, and mock executions. In addition, he was threatened with harm to his family, including his wife and baby girl, to force him to “confess” to involvement in an attack on Dar Sa’ad police station which took place in March 2022. During a hearing before the Aden-based SCC on March 6, 2023, Ahmad Maher told the judge that he was subjected to torture and that his “confession” was extracted under duress, but the judge failed to order an investigation. Authorities have denied Ahmad Maher access to healthcare, including for injuries sustained to his naval area as a result of torture. 

I urge you to quash Ahmad Maher’s conviction and sentence imposed after a grossly unfair trial. I also urge you to immediately ensure that Ahmad Maher is protected from further torture and other ill-treatment and that he is given immediate access to adequate healthcare and regular access to his lawyer and family. 

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

additional resources: