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Yemen: Further information: Where is Muhammad al-Maqalih?

, Index number: MDE 31/015/2009

Yemeni journalist Muhammad al-Maqalih is now believed to be detained at a prison run by the Ministry of Defence, though the authorities have continued to refuse to give any information about him.

Further information on UA: 246/09 Index: MDE 31/015/2009 Yemen Date: 22 October 2009
URGENT ACTION
WHERE IS MUHAMMAD AL-MAQALIH?
Yemeni journalist Muhammad al-Maqalih is now believed to be detained at a prison run by the
Ministry of Defence, though the authorities have continued to refuse to give any information
about him.
Muhammad al-Maqalih was abducted on 17 September, by men in civilian clothes, believed to be from the security
forces. At first he was believed to be detained in the Political Security Prison in Sanaa, run by the Central Organ of
Political Security. The Yemeni human rights NGO Marsad asked the Attorney General to explain where Muhammad
al-Maqalih was detained, and ensure that he was either charged or released. The Attorney General wrote to the head
of the Central Organ of Political Security, and within the past 10 days told Muhammad al-Maqalihs family that the
Central Organ of Political Security had denied that Muhammad al-Maqalih was in their custody.
Amnesty International learnt from sources in Yemen that they believed Muhammad al-Maqalih was being detained in
the al-Qala Prison in Sanaa and wrote to Yemens Minister of Defence on 21 October asking where Muhammad al-
Maqalih was detained, and raising concerns that he may be have been subjected to enforced disappearance, and
that he has been detained incommunicado since he was seized more than a month ago and could be at risk of
torture or other ill-treatment.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, English or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to reveal publicly where Muhammad al-Maqalih is detained, and to release him
immediately and unconditionally unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence;
Urging them to ensure that Muhammad al-Maqalih is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and allowed
prompt and regular access to a lawyer of his choosing, his family and any medical treatment he may require.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 DECEMBER 2009 TO:
President
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Office of the President of the Republic
of Yemen
Sanaa
Republic of Yemen
Fax: +967 1 274147
Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Defence
Major General Muhammad Nasser
Ahmed Ali
Ministry of Defence
Sanaa
Republic of Yemen
Fax: +9671252378
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Human Rights
Houda Ali Abdullatif al-Baan
Ministry for Human Rights
Sanaa
Republic of Yemen
Fax: +967 1 444833
Salutation: Your Excellency
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Yemen accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after
the above date. This is the first update of UA 246/09 (MDE 31/011/2009) see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE31/011/2009/en
Date: 22 October 2009
URGENT ACTION
WHERE IS MUHAMMAD AL-MAQALIH?
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
In Yemen, critics of the state are often at risk of arrest, detention, abduction and beatings.
Yemens Sada region, whose inhabitants are predominantly members of the countrys Zaidi Shia Muslim minority, has
experienced several periods of conflict in recent years. The security forces have clashed several times with followers of Zaidi Shia
cleric Hussein al-Houthi, who was killed in 2004. The latest surge in violence began in mid-August, when the area was placed
under a virtual state of emergency. Government forces have mounted a series of attacks, including bombing raids against villages
and towns, in an apparent attempt to crush Hussein al-Houthis supporters.
International humanitarian law expressly prohibits attacks which directly target civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate
attacks. The Yemeni government and the armed followers of Zaidi Shia cleric Hussein al-Houthi are legally bound to respect
international humanitarian law and must ensure that their forces refrain from carrying out such unlawful attacks.
Amnesty International has called on the Yemeni authorities to investigate, fully and promptly, all allegations of serious violations
by their forces, including a reported bombing raid on 16 September at Adi village in the Harf Sufyan area of Amran province near
Sada, which is said to have killed about 80 civilians.
For more information see Amnesty International’s press release Yemen: Saudi Arabia must assist refugees fleeing Sa’da fighting
of 17 September 2009 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/yemen-saudi-arabia-must-assist-refugees-fleeing-
sa%E2%80%99da-fighting-20090917).
Further Information on UA: 246/09 Index: MDE 31/013/2009 Issue Date: 22 October 2009.

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