The world must protect human rights defenders like Ali Al-Dailami

Side Event Geneva - yemen Delegation
Ali Al-Dailami (far right) with members of the Karama delegation to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, Geneva in 2014

Karama and its partners have called for greater protection for human rights defenders after the brutal assault and detention of Yemeni activist Ali Al-Dailami.  A widely-recognised advocate for human rights, Al-Dailami was subjected to a vicious ordeal as he passed through a checkpoint by Yemen’s Ministry of Interior in Sana’a on 25 January.

This is not the first time that Al-Dailami has faced harassment as a result of his work. As the head of Yemen’s Organization for Defending Democratic Rights and Freedoms, he has faced arrest and detention on numerous occasions, and survived an assassination attempt in August 2014 when gunmen shot at his car.

Karama CEO Hibaaq Osman called Ali Al-Dailami and his commitment to human rights an inspiration to to the world. Despite the conflict in Yemen, Al-Dailami chose to stay in the country and continue to report on human rights violations. Karama has been campaigning for greater protection of human rights defenders for a number of years, raising the matter with, among others, the then President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft in 2015.

Ali Al-Dailami leads a workshop in Yemen
Ali Al-Dailami leads a Karama workshop in Yemen

Following the assault of Ali Al-Dailami, Hibaaq Osman, founder and CEO of Karama, said:

“It has been a great honour and privilege to work with Ali Al-Dailami, he is a true inspiration to the world. His fight for fundamental rights is a fight for the dignity of all the people of Yemen. The world owes Ali and people like him a debt of gratitude; more than that it owes them all the protection it can possibly provide.

“I wish Ali a quick recovery, and hope that the world will pay attention to his plight. We have lost far too many brave human rights defenders already, we must protect those who continue this essential work.”