The Coalition’s Black Hole Consumes Badr

He was transferred from Yemen to Saudi Arabia, According to Officials.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023
The Coalition’s Black Hole Consumes Badr

A 45-year-old Badr, (pseudonym) had established himself as a car mechanic in Saudi Arabia. Living alongside his family, including his father and siblings, he had woven a life there, with no remaining connections in Yemen, as the majority of his relatives had become expatriates in Gulf countries.

However, Badr's life took a dark turn about six years ago when he was deported by Saudi authorities following a dispute with a local individual, forcing him to return to Yemen to prepare for the anticipated homecoming of his wife and daughter from abroad. However, just one month before their expected return, his life took a nightmarish twist.

On April 2, 2018, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Badr was detained at his workshop, bewildered by the sudden turn of events. Nearby shopkeepers were the ones to inform one of his relatives about his detention. A chilling scene unfolded, with nineteen individuals, masked and armed, arriving in a military vehicle to carry out the arrest.

Despite inquiries from his concerned relative, the reason behind Badr's detention remained shrouded in mystery. It was only after some time that the family learned he was being held at the Qatten Camp. His relative managed to secure a visit to the camp, where Badr revealed he had no knowledge of the charges against him, and even the camp commander professed ignorance regarding the accusations.

A day later, the camp commander delivered the distressing news that instructions had arrived from the Saudi-led coalition to transfer Badr to the First Military Zone in Seiyun. Attempts by his relative to access the Seiyun Security Department were met with denial.

Badr's forced disappearance stretched on for forty agonizing days. A close relative persevered and applied for his release at the Seiyun prosecutor's office while requesting a visit. Shockingly, the prosecutor refused to sign the visit and release request, citing a lack of authority over detainees sought by the coalition. However, he did promise to investigate Badr's whereabouts.

After a series of inquiries, the prosecutor confirmed Badr's location at the Seiyun "At-Tini" Prison (the Mud Prison), prompting his relative to seek a visit there. Communication eventually led to contact with the commander of the Saudi forces in Seiyun. In discussions about Badr's case and the desire to visit him, the commander inquired about the number of people intending to visit, and upon learning it was seven, he agreed to allow the visit at the Seiyun "At-Tini" Prison.

During this visit, Badr revealed a grim reality: he had been detained in At-Tini prison for nearly forty days, subjected to interrogations by Saudi soldiers, unmistakably discerned by their dialect. Although he disclosed being subjected to torture, the security guards' presence prevented him from elaborating on the horrifying details.

Badr maintained his innocence, vehemently denying the fabricated charges tied to Al-Qaeda. Disturbingly, signs of torture were visible on his neck, and he had lost some of his fingernails. He had a bandaged left hand, claiming a shoulder injury sustained during his ordeal, with fellow prisoners in  At-Tini Prison providing him with rudimentary care.

For nearly a year and a half, Badr's relative diligently visited him in Seiyun "At-Tini" Prison every month, yet he was never brought before a prosecutor during this time. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a cruel twist as visits were banned for six long months. When visits were finally permitted again, it was only in December 2020 that Badr's relatives received the heartbreaking news of his deportation to Saudi Arabia, effectively severing all communication with him.