Al-Moayyad, Zayed on hunger strike for mistreatment [Archives:2006/940/Front Page]

April 24 2006

By: Mohamed Bin Sallam
SANA'A, April 23 ) Sheikh Mohamed Al-Moayyad and his aide Mohamed Zayed, detained in a U.S. jail for alleged terrorism links, have been on a hunger strike for more than two weeks for alleged mistreatment by the U.S.

Al-Moayyad's son, Ibrahim, told media that his father and his companion began a hunger strike more than 13 days ago to protest against harsh treatment they face while in prison.

The National Committee to Defend Al-Moayyad and Zayed, headed by Islah Party leader Sheikh Hamoud Hashem Al-Dharihi, holds the U.S. Administration accountable for the pair's health, as the two are subjected to abuses inside its jails. In a statement, the committee said Al-Moayyad and his aide suffer bad treatment and U.S. authorities impose hard work on them, compelling them to go on hunger strike.

According to the statement, such mistreatment caused the men's health to deteriorate amid lack of prison health care. The committee appealed to President Ali Abdullah Saleh to pursue the case's procedures and intervene to secure the two Yemenis' release.

Lawyer Khalid Al-Anisi, Secretary-General of the National Committee for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD), stated, “The two victims suffer from bad health, complain of mistreatment by jail officials and are deprived of good food, health care and medical treatment.

“President Saleh authorized me to travel to the U.S. to follow up case procedures, which was transferred to the tribunal,” Al-Anisi added. “The U.S. accepted granting a visa to enter the country to appear for Al-Moayyad and his companion in the tribunal.”

Yemen's Foreign Ministry forwarded a letter of protest to the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a after the latter refused to grant Al-Anisi a visa to enter the U.S. In its letter, the ministry confirmed Yemen's stance to follow up cases of Yemeni nationals detained in U.S. jails via lawyers.

The ministry renewed demands for granting Al-Anisi a visa to join the U.S. defense team defending Al-Moayyad and his aide during the appeal phase against the Brooklyn Court's verdict sentencing Al-Moayyad to 75 years in prison and Zayed to 45 years, plus $2 million in fines.