A year has passed since writer and human rights activist Samira Al-Houri and her son Ahmed Al-Halili disappeared in Saudi Arabia. Despite calls for information on their whereabouts, the Saudi authorities have yet to provide any answers.
Unnamed sources who spoke with "Women Journalists Without Chains" have said that on April 17, 2022, Saudi intelligence services abducted Samira al-Houri and her son Ahmed al-Halili from their apartment in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. This reportedly took place shortly after Ahmed was smuggled out of Houthi-controlled areas and relocated to Riyadh. However, the Saudi authorities have purportedly refused to acknowledge their disappearance or file an official report on the matter.
Women Journalists Without Chains have accused the Yemeni government of failing to safeguard activist Samira Al-Houri and her son Ahmed, with the organization noting that this is one of several instances in which the Yemeni government has ignored Saudi calls to detain Yemenis for their opinions. The Saudi authorities have reportedly detained a number of individuals for expressing their views.
It has also been reported that Samira Al-Houri was previously kidnapped by the Houthis in July 2019 and endured enforced disappearance and torture for three months before her family secured her release. There are concerns that Samira Al-Houri and her son may have suffered a similar fate in Saudi Arabia, with their current whereabouts and safety unknown.
Women Journalists Without Chains has issued a call for action, urging the Saudi authorities to reveal the fate of Samira Al-Houri and her son and to release them immediately if they are being detained against their will. The organization has also called on the Yemeni government to take responsibility for its citizens who are currently being detained in Saudi prisons. Additionally, Women Journalists Without Chains has pledged to hold the Saudi officials responsible for the disappearance of Al-Houri and her son accountable in the international judiciary.
Women Journalists Without Chains
June 4, 2023