HOOD uncovers five detainees in Yemeni Economic Corporation special prison [Archives:2007/1105/Local News]

November 22 2007

SANA'A, Nov. 20 ) The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, known as HOOD, has discovered five detainees, some of whom have been there for seven months, imprisoned at a special prison within the Yemeni Economic Corporation.

HOOD immediately sent a message to the public prosecutor, requesting he release Yasser Abdullah Al-Idrisi, who has been imprisoned at the special YEC prison since April 14, despite orders to release him and send him to public prosecution.

In response to HOOD's message, the public funds prosecutor has directed YEC's general manager to send Al-Idrisi and his documents to the primary appeals prosecution to investigate the reasons for his more than seven-month imprisonment.

A HOOD team that visited the YEC premises last Monday confirmed that five detainees are being imprisoned in a small room built of cement and bricks off the main building. Additionally, the team found a back door leading to another cell used to hide detainees if the prosecution representative comes to inspect.

Besides Al-Idrisi, the team says the detainees currently imprisoned at the YEC are: Ahmed Al-Souswah, previously imprisoned from May 27 to July 17 and now detained again since Nov. 12; Mohammed Al-Harazi, imprisoned since Sept. 9; Jamil Al-Raimi, imprisoned since Nov. 18 and Khalid Al-Raimi, imprisoned since the same date under the pretext that he is Jameel Al-Raimi's brother.

Jamil Al-Raimi is accused of broadcasting half-hour pornographic films on screens in numerous Sana'a streets. Vehicles stopped in intersections and hundreds of citizens gathered to shout loudly, condemning what was occurring.

HOOD's letter contains a complaint by Al-Idrisi, who accuses the YEC of imprisoning him for more than seven months simply for being a contract employee, further alleging that the YEC also attempted to compel him to pay a large sum of money.

Al-Idrisi is appealing to the public prosecutor to act according to presidential directives to transfer him to prosecution for conviction or acquittal.

The YEC prisoners further informed a HOOD attorney that there might be as many as 15 detainees being held in one room, some of whom are civil citizens not employed by the YEC. They also allege that some of them were beaten, including Jamil Al-Raimi, who was exposed to many beatings on his head during investigation and in front of YEC leaders.

The prisoners also maintain that a 12-year-old juvenile, an ex-prisoner named Aziz Al-Wa'a, was held hostage there for two days until his father came.

HOOD attorney Abdulrahman Barman says the YEC refuses to submit the detainees to prosecution because some are implicated in financial scandals involving YEC officials; thus, if they are sent to prosecution, many financial violations will be disclosed.

Barman further believes the prosecution is in league with the YEC; otherwise, it would have reported the special YEC prisons to the government.

He adds that HOOD plans to send a complaint to the Yemeni Parliament, asking it to inspect YEC branches, as HOOD fears that such prisons exist at all YEC branches.