The death of “Khaled Mohammed Al-Heeth” illustrates the dire situation many civilian prisoners are facing in Houthi prisons.
Yemeni civilian Khaled Mohammed Al-Heeth dead after time spent in Houthi prison
Khaled Mohammed Al-Heeth, 43, was a government employee at the Yemeni Ministry of Culture, the breadwinner of a middle class family, and a virtuous teacher for many of the neighborhood's youth. He is another on the long list of victims of Houthi abduction, torture and killing campaigns in Sana’a. Al-Heeth is one of several, including some died hours after his release in a prisoner exchange deal, and others due to clinical death due to lack of medical care, as was the case with the abductee Abdullah al-Shanafi.
Al-Heeths family and the Detainees' Defense Committee announced his death on Wednesday at the Azal hospital in Sanaa due to the worsening of his health condition after being denied medical attention while imprisoned by the Houthis and this eventually lead to his death.
The copy of a medical report issued by the Sana'a Central Prison Clinic on October 27th, obtained by Almasdar Online confirms that Al-Heeth had autoimmune hepatitis severe jaundiced eyes, and pain in the liver area.
The same report recommended that Al-Heeth be given medical attention at a specialized hospital in which an ultrasound of the liver and continued treatment with a liver specialist could be performed..
However, the prison leadership refused to transfer him to a hospital and insisted that he continue to be detained and denied treatment, as well as any outside visitors.
On Tuesday October 29th, defense lawyers submitted a memorandum to the chief prosecutor of the northern district attorney's office (under Houthis control ) and the chief prosecutor directed his deputy in the central prison to "act in accordance with the law."
At the central prison, defense lawyer Mohamed Abkar handed over the case to the chief prosecutor, who according to Abkar, was "familiar with the subject of Khaled al-Heeth since he visited him the day before.
The prosecutor issued two urgent briefs to the Director General of the Central Prison a Houthi affiliate, and another to the official of the Houthi National Committee for Prisoners' Affairs.
Almasdar Online has examined both memorandums, which confirm the report issued by the Sana’a Central Prison clinic, urging that Al-Heeth be provided adequate medical attention lest his condition deteriorate further.
The directives for the treatment of Al-Heeth were submitted in addition to a similar directive for another abductee, Mohammed Abdullah al-Rada, who suffers from angina and blood clotting and whose condition requires immediate transfer to and treatment in a specialized hospital.
According to human rights sources, the case of Al-Heeth is not unique: the Houthis repeatedly refuse to implement the directives of the prosecution, which is, in any case, also under Houthi control in in Sana'a.
Amat Al-Salam Al-Hajj, president of the Association of Mothers of Abductees, has brought the issue of Al-Heeth and another 180 abductees currently in Houthi prisons in need of medical attention i, to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN envoy and the Yemeni government.
According to a Red Cross worker, the ICRC recently intervened and put pressure on the Houthi to transfer Al-Heeth to the Al-Mutawakel Hospital in Sana'a.
A medical source who spoke to Almasdar Online on the condition of anonymity, claims that Al-Heeth was transferred to the Azal hospital after his clinical death in the Al-Mutawakel hospital.
Al-Hajj said to Almasdar Online that Al-Heeth’s death was the result of neglect, adding that "today we find the result of neglecting our claims led to the death of the kidnapped Khaled. On the World Children's Dayhe Houthis are presenting Khalid’s children the news of the death of their father."
Earlier in the day, the committee for the defense of detainees called for the formation of a commission of inquiry into Al-Heeths death, and have commissioned the country’s chief medical examiner to go to the hospital and examine the body. This is done in the hopes that the circumstances and reasons for his death will be revealed,and to inform the public about the ongoing crimes against civilian detainees and abductees in Houthi prisons.