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Hungarian citizen dies under torture in STC militia prison in Aden

Loyalist forces stand guard outside the central prison in the Mansoura residential district of Yemen's second city of Aden on March 30, 2016 [SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP via Getty Images]
Loyalist forces stand guard outside the central prison in the Mansoura residential district of Yemen's second city of Aden on March 30, 2016 [SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP via Getty Images]

The SAM Organisation for Rights and Liberties confirmed the death of a Hungarian citizen under torture at the hands of the forces of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the temporary capital Aden during Ramadan last year, after he was arrested in a hotel in the Mualla district.

The organisation released a statement published on its website that it had obtained testimonies from former detainees who had been released, stating that a "Hungarian citizen named Gyorgy Koltai, known also as Abdul Hakim Faris (aka Kimo), 44 years, died in Waddah Hall detention camp last Ramadan, 2020."

The organisation quoted the testimonies from another detainee who said that security forces arrested Koltai in a hotel in Mualla after he arrived in Aden from Hungary in 2020. He was then transferred to the anti-terror apparatus that supervises the Waddah Hall Prison, which is located at the Gold Moore coast, where he remained for between two to three months.

The statement indicated that during Koltai's detention in Waddah Hall, he was subjected to severe torture, as he was beaten with wires and sticks until he lost his teeth. The victim had heart disease and contracted coronavirus and was left without adequate medical attention by the prison administration until he died on 27 Ramadan of last year.

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The organisation revealed that "the interrogation and torture were supervised by Yusran Al-Maqtari, another person called Aseel Abu Khattab, and a third named Muhammad Ihab Al-Subaihi from Al-Qalou`a, who works in the anti-terrorism operations room.

The organisation added that "Abdel-Hakim was so sick that he started bleeding, and according to identical testimonies, when prisoners sought help for patients in Waddah Hall, the prison supervisors would say, 'do not call us unless someone dies,' and after his death, Kimo was taken from the cell, and is believed to have been buried."

SAM Organisation for Rights and Liberties could not obtain statements from official authorities about the incident.

The organisation said that Koltai worked in Hudaydah Governorate as part of a technical team from 2009 to 2012, before getting arrested by the Houthis and placed in detention from 2015 to 2017, during which time he was severely tortured and then released afterwards. Later, he returned to Hungary and then came back to Yemen in 2020.

The organisation confirmed that the anti-terrorism forces led by Al-Maqtari and the Asifa Brigade led by Osan Al-Anashli and armed forces in the city of Aden, which is under the control of the UAE-backed STC, arbitrarily arrested and forcibly disappeared dozens of people in the Waddah Hall detention centre, which they use to hide the abductees, and where some of the detainees may have died under torture.

The organisation called on the local authorities in the governorate of Aden to protect the rights of all detainees, immediately release all those who were arbitrarily detained, and grant family members, lawyers, and independent observers immediate access to detention centres, in order to reduce the risk of ill-treatment.

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