Freed detainees were at a loss for words to describe the horrors they witnessed and experienced inside Al-Saleh prison
Geneva-based rights group details Houthi atrocities in Taiz city-turned-prison
Switzerland-based Sam Organization for Rights and Freedoms (known as SAM) released a report on Monday spotlighting the horrors of torture practiced in the Houthi-run prisons of Taiz governorate’s Al-Saleh residential city.
The building complex-turned-prison consists of 860 apartments spread across 83 buildings, 20 of which the Houthis have converted into prisons known internally by various names, such as ISIS prison, criminal prison, the mujahideen prison, as well as the prisons of Aden, Abu Harb and the sheikhs.
The SAM report – which is based on dozens of interviews with former captives, their families and people close to Houthi officials running the prison – concludes that Al-Saleh is one of the most dangerous private prisons in Yemen. Freed detainees were at a loss for words to describe the horrors they experienced and witnessed inside the facility.
“The amount of terror that released prisoners feel from simply mentioning the prison is seen in their faces, read in the words and letters they’ve written and heard in the recordings of their voices," the report states.
Reasons cited for the abduction and detention of the prisoners ranged from the arrest of civilians to exchange for captured rebel prisoners of war, the arrest and torture of civilians for the purpose of recruitment, financial extortion and and the kidnapping of political opponents and others viewed as threats to Houthi rule.
The report mentions the names of the Houthi leaders responsible for the prison and the crimes and violations they are accused of committing. It also breaks down the areas in Taiz controlled by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government, the Houthis, and UAE-backed forces.
In coming days, Almasdar Online will publish the testimonies of prisoners documented by SAM to highlight the violations and crimes committed in Al-Saleh prison.