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Ambassador Dr. Ahmed Awad Binmubarak
Embassy of the Republic of Yemen
2319 Wyoming Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 965 4760 I Fax: 202 337 2017
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Mr. Abdelsalam,
On 9 July 2019, the Huthi-run Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) of Sana’a sentenced to death 30 academics and political figures. The 30 men will appeal their sentence. Six other people also on trial were acquitted.
Amongst those sentenced to death is Youssef al-Bawab, a 45-year-old father of five, linguistics professor and political figure, who was arbitrarily arrested in late 2016. He was charged in April 2017, alongside 35 others, with several offences carrying the death penalty. Throughout his detention, proceedings against him and others in the same case were seriously flawed, and included enforced disappearance, excessive pre-trial detention, undue delays in his trial, incommunicado detention, claims of torture and other ill-treatment and lack of access to legal counsel and medical care.
During one of the trial sessions on 2 April 2019, Youssef al-Bawab stated how he and others had been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment throughout their detention at the Political Security Office (PSO) in Sana’a, including beatings, being hung from the ceilings and tied up using iron chains. The court did not respond to Youssef’s statement and the judge failed to order an investigation into these claims.
I urge you to ensure that the death sentences against Youssef al-Bawab and the 29 other men are quashed and that they are immediately released, as they are being punished solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. In the meantime, I urge you to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, granted access to adequate medical treatment and regular access to their lawyer and family.