Citizen referred to court for accusing police of torture [Archives:2007/1046/Front Page]

April 30 2007

Mohammed Al-Jabri
SANA'A, April 28 ) On Saturday, the Specialized Penal Prosecution referred Shaif Al-Haimi's case to the Sana'a Penal Court to try him on charges of theft and practicing vice, the Ministry of Defense web site has reported.

The decision was made after an official National Security source refuted Al-Haimi's statements that police tortured and beat him.

The source said Al-Haimi and his colleague Ahmed Al-Sairafi were arrested on charges of forming “a dangerous gang” practicing robbery, vice and impersonating officers from National Security and the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

“Al-Haimi's claims that he was tortured while being investigated at National Security reflect his abnormal and depraved behavior,” the source said, adding that the National Security apparatus has the right to sue him.

According to the source, Al-Haimi and Al-Sairafi stormed into a capital city apartment on Nov. 2, 2006, claiming to be National Security officers, and confiscated property. Security authorities arrested Al-Haimi, who Penal Prosecution sent to National Security for investigation. There, his friend Al- Sairafi confessed to the crimes they committed together.

The national security officer further noted that because Al-Haimi began shouting and kicking doors, the officer in charge of detention shackled his hands. “Al-Haimi injured his hands intentionally and poured hot water on his own body in order to cause burns,” he reported.

At a symposium organized last Monday by human rights groups and civil society organizations, Al-Haimi disclosed his ordeal during his month-long detainment at National Security, being accused of stealing a police officer's mobile phone.

Al-Haimi alleged that seven National Security police officers arrested him at midnight and led him blindfolded to detention on charges of stealing a mobile phone belonging to one of them.

“As I cried out in pain, investigators increasingly beat me. When I cried out with thirst, they doused me with cold water, forcing me to be silent. While I was crying in pain, they brought a bottle full of urine and forced me to drink it and then pour some on my head. They even put a bar of soap in my mouth and tied it. Many times, they put a shoe into my mouth while beating me with thick military shoes, which made me go deaf in my left ear,” Al-Haimi recounted to the group last Monday.