04/18/2019

Urgent Action: Yemeni Academic Held Incommunicado (Yemen: UA 51.19)


Professor and political figure Youssef al-Bawab has been held in incommunicado detention in Sana’a’s Political Security Office (PSO) since 2 April 2019 and is at heightened risk of being tortured. He has been detained since 20 October 2016. In April 2017, he was accused of charges that carry the death penalty. The legal proceedings against him have been seriously flawed, including enforced disappearance, excessive pre-trial detention, undue delays in his trial, allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and lack of access to legal counsel and medical care. Amnesty calls on the Huthi de facto authorities to drop all charges and immediately release him as the organization believes that he is being prosecuted on trumped-up charges used to punish him for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

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Mohamed Abdelsalam
Ansarullah Representative at Peace Talks
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @abdusalamsalah
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]
Twitter: @YemenEmbassy_DC @BelovedAden
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mohamed Abdelsalam,

Youssef al-Bawab, a linguistics professor at Sana’a University, has been held incommunicado since 2 April 2019 when he appeared before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Sana’a alongside 35 other detainees; their charges include espionage for the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition, which carries a mandatory death sentence under Yemeni Criminal Law. During the trial session, Youssef al-Bawab appealed to the judge on behalf of the other detainees, highlighting how he and others have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment throughout their detention at 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 allegations of torture and other ill-treatment

On 6 April 2019, Youssef al-Bawab was not brought to court to attend his next session. His lawyer asked about his whereabouts, medical condition and whether he was still alive or not. The court failed to answer these questions.

After his arrest in 2016, Youssef al-Bawab was forcibly disappeared for three months. Eventually he was transferred to the PSO in Sana’a and his family was permitted to visit him. He only had access to legal counsel once during his initial interrogations in March 2017.

I urge you to drop the trumped-up charges against Youssef al-Bawab and immediately release him as he is being punished for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. Pending his release, I urge you to intervene to ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, granted access to adequate medical treatment and regular access to his lawyer and family.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES