The undersigned Yemeni, international and regional human rights organizations condemn the arbitrary arrest of journalist Hala Fouad Badawi by the security authorities of Hadhramaut Governate in Yemen. The governorate is under the control of the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and Governor Faraj al-Bahsani. She has been imprisoned for more than a month.
The organizations call for Hala Badawi’s immediate release and the dropping of all charges against her. The security and other local authorities behind her arrest are responsible for her physical and psychological safety. Hala, a young journalist active on social media, was detained on 30 December 2021 by a military intelligence affiliated security unit. She was jailed in the Military Intelligence prison before being transferred to the Central Prison in Hadhramaut on 5 January.
We, the undersigned, denounce the arbitrary and illegal measures taken to detain and incarcerate Hala Badawi. We further denounce all the forms of violence and intimidation exercised against the journalist and her family. Press sources and human rights organizations in Yemen report that Badawi was attacked and forcibly removed from her car near the Hadhramaut Military Regional Command. She was taken to the Military Intelligence headquarters in Hadhramaut, where she was held in an undisclosed location for two days. The Military Regional Command denied that she was being detained there. On the third day, the office of the Hadhramaut governor Faraj al-Bahsani issued a statement acknowledging her detention in the Military Intelligence prison and accusing her of communicating with a foreign country. On the fifth day, Hala was transferred to the Central Prison in Mukalla, the capital of Hadhramaut Governate. Her family has been prevented from visiting her during her detainment with one exception. Local security forces also raided her family’s home in a forcible, intimidatory manner, confiscating their mobile phones.
We fear that the local and security authorities in Hadhramaut have arrested Hala Badawi over her posts on social media criticizing corruption and demanding better living conditions. We wish to draw the attention of the State, and central and local institutions, to their obligations to protect journalists and civil activists, including those opposed to government policies and practices. What Hala Badawi has been subjected to constitutes a flagrant violation of her right to freedom of opinion and expression, which is guaranteed by Yemen’s constitution and the international treaties and covenants which Yemen is bound.
Although it has been a month since her arrest, Hala Badawi’s case has not yet been referred to the court. The Criminal Prosecution has not filed a case against her, as her family was informed after she was transferred to the Central Prison.
These practices constitute a violation of Yemen’s international human rights obligations. General Comment No. 34/2011 issued by the Human Rights Committee warns that arresting journalists who are performing their legitimate functions on freedom of expression constitutes intimidation.
We, the undersigned human rights organizations, call on the security authorities in Hadhramaut to immediately release journalist Hala Badawi. We underscore the frequency of violations committed against journalists in Yemen; these violations have surged during the years of war with over 2,000 documented, including fifty murders. We call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to cease their perpetration of crimes and violations against Yemeni journalists and media outlets. We warn that the infringement of fundamental rights by the authorities in the Hadhramaut Governorate against any person who disagrees with them is not subject to a statute of limitations. We call for the perpetrators to be punished, including those who ordered the commission of these crimes, or who conspired, abetted, or covered up for them, as stated by the Human Rights Council in its decision number 45/18 dated 6 October 2020.
- Adalah Foundation for Legal Development
- American Center for Justice (ACJ)
- Association of Abductees Mothers
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
- Cultural Media Center
- Dameer Foundation For Human Rights
- Democratic Media Foundation
- Free Press Unlimited
- Humanitarian Journalism Foundation
- International Media Support (IMS)
- Justice &Peace Netherlands
- Mansa Foundation for Media And Development Studies
- Media Sac Foundation for Media and
- Media village for development and Information
- Mirrors Media For Development Center MDC
- Monitoring Journalist Network
- Musawah Organization For Rights and Freedoms
- Qarar foundation for Media and Development
- Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
- Rights Radar for Human Rights
- SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms
- Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC)
- The Electronic Foundation for Humanitarian Media
- The National Organization of Yemeni Journalists (Sada)
- TO BE Foundation For Rights &Freedoms
- True Human Rights institution
- Wujud Foundation for Human Security
- Yeni Yemen Media Foundation
- Yemeni Media Freedom Observatory (YMFO)
- YemenWomen Journalists Network
 Media freedom observatory – Yemen(www.marsadak.org )
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