Yemen: ‎The security authorities must ‎immediately release the journalist Hala ‎Badawi

The undersigned Yemeni and international ‎human rights organizations strongly condemn the ‎arbitrary arrest of  journalist Hala Fouad ‎Badawi by Hadhramaut Province ‎security authorities. She has been ‎imprisoned for more than a month. ‎

The organizations call for her immediate ‎release and dropping of all charges ‎against her. The security and other local ‎authorities behind this arrest are responsible for her physical and psychological ‎safety. Badawi, a young journalist active ‎on social media, was arrested on ‎December 30, 2021 by a Military ‎intelligence affiliated security unit. She ‎was imprisoned in the Military ‎Intelligence prison before being ‎transferred on January 5 to the Central ‎Prison in Hadhramaut. ‎

We denounce the arbitrary and illegal ‎measures taken to detain and ‎incarcerate Ms Badawi. All kinds of ‎pressure exercised against the journalist ‎or her family is also decried. Press ‎sources and human rights organizations ‎in Yemen report that she was ‎attacked and forcibly removed from her ‎car near the Hadhramaut Military ‎Region Command and taken to the ‎Military Intelligence headquarters in ‎Hadramaut where she was held in secret for ‎two days. The Military Region Command denied that she was being detained there. On the ‎third day, the office of Hadhramaut ‎governor issued a statement ‎acknowledging her detention in the ‎Military Intelligence prison and accusing ‎her of communicating with a foreign ‎country. On the fifth day, she was ‎transferred to the central prison in ‎Mukalla, the capital of Hadhramaut ‎Province. Her family members were also ‎prevented from visiting her except once. ‎Local security forces raided her family’s home in a forcible, intimidatory manner, confiscating the mobile phones of family members.   was stormed, the ‎family got intimidated, and their phones ‎were confiscated.

We fear that the local ‎and security authorities in Hadhramaut ‎have arrested Ms Badawi over her posts ‎on social media pages 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 programmes. What Ms ‎Badawi has been subjected to  a flagrant violation of her ‎right to freedom of opinion and ‎expression, which is guaranteed by the ‎Yemeni constitution and international ‎treaties and covenants by which Yemen ‎is bound. ‎

Until a month since her arrest, Badawi’s case ‎has not yet been referred to the court, ‎and 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. ‎For example, General Comment No. ‎‎34/2011 issued by the Human Rights ‎Committee warns of the intimidating ‎effects of arresting journalists who ‎perform their legitimate functions on ‎freedom of expression. ‎

We call on the security authorities in ‎Hadhramaut to immediately release ‎journalist Hala Badawi. The undersigned ‎organizations underscore the frequency ‎of violations committed against ‎journalists in Yemen which have ‎escalated dramatically during the years ‎of war, reaching more than two ‎thousand violations, including 50 ‎killings[2]. We call on all parties to the ‎conflict in Yemen to stop all ‎contravention committed against ‎Yemeni journalists and media outlets. ‎We warn that the infringement of the ‎authorities in Hadhramaut against ‎anyone who disagrees with them is not ‎subject to a statute of limitations, and ‎we call for punishing the perpetrators, ‎including people who order the ‎commission of these crimes, conspire, ‎help or cover up for them, as stated by ‎the Human Rights Council in its decision ‎number 45/18 dated October 6, 2020‎‏.‏

The signatories:

1.    Article19

2.    Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

3.    International Media Support (IMS)

4.    Justice &Peace Netherlands

5.    Free Press Unlimited

6.    Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

7.    Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC)

8.    Yemeni Media Freedom Observatory (YMFO)

9.    The National Organization of Yemeni Reporters (SADA)

10. SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms

11. Rights Radar for Human Rights

12. Association of Abductees Mothers

13. American Center for Justice (ACJ)

14. YemenWomen Journalists Network

15. TO BE Foundation For Rights &Freedoms

16. Cultural Media Center

17. The Electronic Foundation for Humanitarian Media

18. Dameer Foundation For Human Rights

19. Mansa Foundation for Media And Development Studies

20. Media Sac Foundation for Media and

21. Media village for development and Information

22. Mirrors Media For Development Center MDC

23. Qarar foundation for Media and Development

24. Yeni Yemen Media Foundation

25. Human Rights Association-Switzerland

26. Humanitarian Journalism Foundation

27. True Human Rights institution

28. Watch for Human Rights

29. Democratic Media Foundation

30. Wogood for Human Security

31. Musawah Organization For Rights and Freedoms

32. Monitoring Journalist Network

33. Adalah Foundation for Legal Development

34. The Arab Foundation for Supporting Womens Issues and Juvenile Children

35. Southern Group for Peace

36. Peace Track Initiativeاكثر-من-30-منظمة-تطالب-بالافراج-عن-هالة-باضاوي.pdf