Tortured in a jail cell [Archives:2007/1051/Opinion]

May 17 2007

Samia Al-Aghbari
The torture cases in the Yemeni prisons are on the rise. After these crimes were exercised in private, they turn out to expose and scandalize the regime and show the hidden face of the regime.

Evident examples of the torture are the cases of Sami Al-Sharjabi, Al-Aizari, and the Mahra soldier, who suffered torture for a long time. There is also the case of Anisa Al-Shu'aibi and other women.

The Article No. 5 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights bans torture. The article reads, “No human shall be exposed to torture, penalties, mistreatment, or brutality that harms one's dignity.” All of us know that Yemen is a country the legislations of which are based on the Islamic Sheria.

In addition, Yemen is one of the countries that signed, approved, and endorsed many articles of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights including the just said one. But who can realize the extent of Yemen's commitment to such international agreements and conventions?

Is the above-mentioned article not enough for Yemen to respect the rights of Shayef Al-Haimi, who suffered the ugliest types of torture, which has been never exercised by the oppressive and tyrannous regimes around the world?

It is evident that the Yemeni regime uses the 'iron fist policy' against citizens in order to horrify them. The regime doesn't respect human rights nor does it abide by human right conventions.

Represented by its security and judicial authorities, the regime oppresses the dignity of citizens, and then comes to talk about human rights, which it claims to respect. How human rights are respected while traces of torture appear on the body of Al-Haimi despite an entire month has passed since he was tortured. Where are rights of Anisa Al-Shu'aibi and Abdurrazaq Abdulqader.

When shayef Al-Haimi showed his tragedy last week to the press and explained the psychological and physical pressure he suffered, pressmen burst in tears as they cannot do anything for Shayef's sake and that they themselves are subjected to violations and attacks. Al-Haimi's hands and legs bear witness of what happened. The picture speaks and doesn't need any interpretation.

Is it believable that we in the country of belief and wisdom realize such tortures? Where are the merciful hearts and where are belief and wisdom? Suppose that Al-Haimi is a gangster or a terrorist leader, does this justify his torture by the National Security?

Whether the attacks were real or not, Al-Haimi was supposed to be referred to court instead of being subjected to torture. His legs and hands were chained because he shouted in the National Security jail. Any suspect remains innocent until his conviction is confirmed while his imprisonment is a violation of the law.

Statements made by the National Security are the joke of the season as they say that the inmate found a water heater in the cell and used it to burn himself. Those who made the statements don't feel shy to produce such words.

According to Norraddin, Shayef's brother, the victim feels shy to carry a stick in his hand while the oppressors never felt shy to behave this way. They exercise illegal practices and they lack morals and values of the job.

We have the right to question: “What does it mean that a human body is burned with acid in a jail cell? How did the acid enter the jail easily amid silence of the concerned parties?

I am not against the national or the political security, the criminal investigation bureau, or the judiciary authorities while they do their duties in conformity with the law and constitution. I am not against the interrogation of Abdurrazaq or Al-Haimi under the umbrella of fair judiciary. I am against torture and the legal violations committed by influential people with the aim of horrifying and intimidating innocent citizens.

Shayef was accused of stealing a cell phone, which is why he received such torture and agony. I don't think that those exercising torture are normal people. Those who exercise such malpractices have no human values nor do they sympathize with other creatures.

In this context, we should forget the role of civil community organizations and media institutions in exposing such malpractices and misconducts. We are grateful to Hood, the National Organization for Defending Human Rights and Freedoms for the important role it plays in highlighting human right issues and violations.

Source:Al-Thawri newspaper