Badhawi Behind Bars .. More Torture and Charges!

For more than thirty days, journalist Hala Badhawi is still in the Central Prison of Hadhramaut without trial after she had been moved from the Military Intelligence prison, where she suffered her first jail days. The security authorities charged her with espionage with foreign parties, which is the same charge for all people criticizing the security and living conditions in Hadhramout.

It is the first time in Yemen that a female journalist has been arrested and charged with such seriousness for decades, on the ground of her media work. The charge has put the Badhawi family in a difficult psychological and human situation and prompted dozens of human rights journalists to declare solidarity with Hala.

Story Begins!

On Thursday, December 30, 2021, while Hala was leaving the headquarters of the second military region in Mukalla of Hadhramout, gunmen attacked her, forced into her car and drove her to the intelligence headquarters. Upon arrival, she secured the car doors and refused to go out only with the presence of the intelligence director Hussein Al-Aleiy. At that moment, she wrote her last post about what she had been exposed to and called her husband to tell him where she was being held.

She was arrested and forcibly disappeared in the Military Intelligence prison. Her family was allowed to visit her only once. Then, she was transferred to the Central Prison on January 3, 2022, where she is now.


After the journalist Hala had been transferred on 3rd of last January to the Central Prison, her family was informed that her file was transferred to the Criminal Prosecution (State Security). Her family went to the Criminal Prosecution and was told that there was no file. However, following media and human rights pressures, the Prosecution admitted there was a file of journalist Hala.

The first session was scheduled on Monday, January 24, but it was postponed under the pretext of the prosecutor’s absence!
Lawyer Safaa Bakouna said that the Prosecution is seeking to prolong the detention of journalist Hala by hiding her file, and the security authorities in the governorate know that all the charges against Hala are false.

Difficult psychological situation:

The journalist Hala is living in a difficult psychological condition in detention due to the charges leveled against her and the psychological and physical torture. She was placed in solitary confinement, as her sister Hind said.

Hind confirmed that Hala was beaten on the third day of her detention in the Military Intelligence prison until she bled and was transferred to the Central Prison for treatment.

She is now suffering from an injury to her right hand as a result of the beating.

Previous threats:

It is not the first time that Hala has been arrested. She was arrested last February while covering the popular protest against the living and economic situation.

Her sister, Hind confirmed that Hala received many threats during the recent period because of her press writings.

Her family prevented her from leaving the house, fearing for her safety after each threat.

Shock in the media:

Recently, the severity of the violations practiced by the security authorities in Hadhramaut has escalated. Many arrests, threats and illegal practices were committed. However, the shocking fact is that a female journalist was attacked this time, and even accused of serious charges, causing a kind of horror among her male and female fellow journalists.

Hadhramaut, a peaceful and calm city, has become an unsafe place for male and female journalists. A while ago, the journalist Abdullah Bakir had arrested for nearly a year before he found innocent.

Also, three journalists are currently being tried in Hadramout on publishing issues before courts that are not specialized in press issues, where the two journalists, Sabri bin Makhashin and Awad Kashim are being tried in absentia before the Criminal Prosecution in Hadramout. The Public Funds Prosecution also summoned journalist Abdullah Al-Shadli because of his press writings.

The Media Freedoms Observatory has monitored 67 violations against media freedom in Hadhramaut governorate since the end of 2015, which varied between arrests, threats and torture.