Yemen: Al-Khaiwani’s Abduction & Escalating Tensions

DI has several times expressed deep concern over the recent upsurge in violence in South Yemen, calling the Yemeni government to ensure the safety of civilians.


Result of DI Action:

  • A new campagin will be launched for Al-Khaiwani soon.
  • On November 29, 2007, Brigadier Nasser Al-Nouba and Mr. Hassan Baum were released without charge.
  • Their health has improved following access to medical care.
  • Others who were arrested with them were also released during September and October 2007.
  • Our thanks to those who sent appeals or published DI action.


Campaign Status: Closed

Information about the campaign:


Al-Khiwani_Yemen_MThe journalist Abdul Karim Al-Khaiwani, former editor of the electronic newspaper Al-Shoura, was found in Sanaa on Monday August 27, 2007 in serious condition after having faced torture. He was beaten to the point of having broken finger and had received death threats if he continued writing articles.

At the same time, many citizens were arrested in the city of Aden.

The case:

Al-Khaiwani was abducted by 6 armed persons while he was with his colleagues in Sanaa, in Zubiri Central Street near the headquarters of “Al-Nidaa” newspaper.  Outside of Sanaa he faced torture at the hands of his abductors. They broke his glasses causing wounds and scratches, and he received multiple body bruises. He suffered several broken ribs. Al-Khaiwani mentioned that one of his abductors intended to kill him.

At the same time thousands of civilians in Southern part of Yemen demonstrated against continued heavy use of force employed by the Yemeni security forces against unarmed and peaceful demonstrators in Aden, Mukalla and Hadramoot provinces.

According to sources and DI Defenders, many people have been killed in the past weeks during demonstrations as the Yemeni security forces used live bullets, tear gas, water cannons, harassment and intimidation. Tens of civilians are wounded and according to reports denied medical treatment. In addition over one thousand have been arrested without charge. Especially one of them had recently had heart surgery and needs regular care and medication.


DI View and DI  Demands:

Defend International is very concerned about the safety of prisoners and civilians. DI has several times expressed deep concern over the recent upsurge in violence in South Yemen, calling the Yemeni government to ensure the safety of civilians.

DI warns of escalating tensions and calls for greater respect and protection of human rights in general and right to freedom of expression, association and assembly in particular.


Regarding Al-Khiwani:

DI urges Yemeni authorities to:

  • Ensure his safety and give assurances that he is not going to be tortured or ill-treated; thus
  • Guarantee he will not be abducted once again (for third time);
  • Provide the highest level of care and medical treatment for him;
  • Put an end to any kind of harassment against him and stop threatening his children; each person is responsible for his or her own actions and choices.

Regarding the prisoners in Yemen:

DI Demands the Yemeni authorities to:

  • Immediately release all detainees, including Brigadier Nasser Al-Nouba, who was rearrested in September 3, 2007 as well as Mr. Hassan Baum and his three children;
  •  Take all necessary measures to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of the prisoners;
  •  Conduct a fair and independent investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment against the demonstrators in order to identify the authors, bring them to trial and pronounce sentences proportional to the gravity of their crimes;
  •  Ensure wounded and injured to receive the best medical care possible;
  •  Put an end to any act of harassment, including detention of children and judicial harassment, against demonstrators in Aden, as well as against all civilians in Southern Yemen;
  • Do not prevent the free movement of citizens inside Aden;
  • Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by Yemen.