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    A man puts a logo of US-based rights group Human Rights Watch on the wall as he prepares the room before their press conference to release their annual World report on January 21, 2014 in Berlin

    Human Rights Groups Demand Release of Yemeni Activist Detained by Houthis

    © AFP 2019 / JOHN MACDOUGALL
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    International human rights organizations on Friday called on Yemeni Houthi movement to immediately and unconditionally release political activist Hisham al-Omeisy detained in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hisham al-Omeisy is a political activist who provided commentary and analysis on Yemeni armed conflict through social media in English and Arabic. On Monday, armed security officers from the National Security Bureau (NSB) detained and took him to an undisclosed location.

    "Houthi authorities should immediately release al-Omeisy and return him safely to his family," Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

    Yemen more than ever needs activists like Omeisy to bring attention to the devastation that war brings the country and its people, Whitson added.

    "This detention illustrates the lengths to which local Huthi-Saleh authorities’ are willing to go to silence peaceful activists. Hisham al-Omeisy is a prisoner of conscience, whose only ‘crime’ is peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, and he must be released immediately," Samah Hadid, the director of Campaigns for Amnesty International in the Middle-East, stressed.

    Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The government is supported from the air and on the ground by the Saudi-led coalition. In response, the Houthis ​​regularly shell the border areas of the kingdom.

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    activist, Human Rights Watch, Houthis, Yemen
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