http://almashareq.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_am/features/2019/06/11/feature-01?language_switcher=true

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Houthi media machine follows Iran's example

Yemeni children help to carry coffins of schoolchildren during a funeral in Sanaa on April 10th. The Houthis held the mass funeral for children killed in an April 7th explosion that they blamed on the Arab coalition. Human Rights Watch has since said the Iran-backed militia is to blame. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

Late last month, social media giants Facebook and Twitter shuttered hundreds of accounts linked to an Iran-based social media campaign that had been attempting to sway public opinion in favour of Iranian interests.

Earlier this year, Facebook said it took down hundreds of "inauthentic" accounts from Iran that were part of a vast manipulation campaign operating in more than 20 countries, AFP reported.

The media machine of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) "follows the same modus operandi of lying and falsifying the facts" as Iran's media machine, said Fadel al-Hindi, a supervisor at King Abdulaziz University's Centre for Human and Social Research.

The way an April incident in Sanaa's Saawan district was covered in pro-Houthi media "is the clearest evidence" of this deception, he told Al-Mashareq.

Pro-Houthi media claimed a US or Arab coalition airstrike had killed 15 children in the district. But a Human Rights Watch investigation into the incident, published May 9th, confirmed the blast was not caused by an airstrike.

"A Houthi-controlled warehouse that stored volatile material near homes and schools caught fire and detonated in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, on April 7th, 2019, causing the deaths of at least 15 children," HRW said.

Spreading 'inflammatory rhetoric'

Another example of the Houthis' attempts to distort the news is their accusation of the Arab coalition in late 2018 of blocking the departure of a plane carrying a Houthi delegation to take part in peace talks in Geneva, al-Hindi said.

The Houthis aimed to "suggest that the coalition is the side that is refusing peace, which was later revealed to be false", he said.

The Houthis also are "broadcasting inflammatory rhetoric and fake news through a network of online sites and satellite channels", al-Hindi said.

These include the popular al-Masirah channel, in addition to al-Sahat, al-Yemen al-Yawm, al-Hawiya and al-Lahtha, he said.

According to political analyst Waddah al-Jalil, "the Houthis see in the experience of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a suitable model for dealing with their surrounding environment".

Pointing to the Saawan incident and others like it, he told Al-Mashareq the Iran-backed militia "commits the crimes and then pins these crimes on its foes".

"The Houthis are accustomed to not facing culpability or blame for the crimes they commit against Yemenis, and if they are held culpable they could not care less," he said.

"They behave like a gang that does not comply with international norms and laws and does not care about the consequences of its crimes," he added.

'False news and media fabrications'

Yemeni journalist Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq the Houthis have established a pattern of "broadcasting false news and media fabrications, through which they pin the blame for their crimes on other parties".

These falsehoods are not questioned or disputed by the Houthis' supporters, he said, and provide them the ammunition with which "to defend them to other parties, and so the rumour circulates quickly".

"The militia also uses this course of action to talk about its fake victories as part of its mobilisation of its supporters and the community through the official and unofficial media and on social media," Ahmed said.

According to Ahmed, the Houthis "are fighting the truth, as evidenced by their shutdown of all media platforms, newspapers and websites in the [areas under their control] except those that work for them".

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19 COMMENT(S)

COMMENT POLICY Captcha
| 2019-08-09

God willing, God will make the truth prevail!

REPLY
| 2019-08-08

What’s new about this? Rafida in general believe in lying and lie in the name of religion. They have looted state coffers, and claimed that Abdrabbuh has transferred the bank to Aden. When we said the bank was transferred just in name, but employees and money are in Sana'a, they said there was no money at the bank and that it was sent to Aden. We said your friends who couldn’t afford a packet of yoghurt are now filled with money to buy houses, land and cars and wives, they said God has bestowed them with that and that we shouldn’t envy them.

REPLY
| 2019-08-06

Done!

REPLY
| 2019-08-04

Ansarallah are only publishing true news.

REPLY
| 2019-08-04

Ansarallah are only publishing true news that is supported by documents and evidence.

REPLY
| 2019-08-04

These are lies. Ansarallah in general, and Houthis in particular, are reliable and frank; they know how to talk before they act. As to the silly states that are conspiring against Yemen, they are in a position like that of women in sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, they’re even meaner, especially the Gulf people.

REPLY
| 2019-08-03

Ansarallah are defending a homeland. May God give them victory and strengthen them!

REPLY
| 2019-07-30

If the Coalition is claiming that Houthis are making up fake news, let them come down to the battlefields and look with their own eyes what the army and Committee men are doing. They’re writing the most beautiful heroic epics, and thank God that Jizan, Asir and Najran are now under the hands of the army and committee.

REPLY
| 2019-07-30

Hehehehehehehe! O, how much you lie, you Magis! By God, you’re besieged at your caves, o, dogs of fire!

REPLY
| 2019-07-30

These are lies and defamation against Nasrallah. This is a Quranic march for the world.

REPLY
| 2019-08-07

Peace be upon those who have followed guidance! They said it was a Quranic march, but truth has appeared; it’s a sexual march and a sexual culture.

REPLY
| 2019-07-26

What’s proving your words? Words don’t prove or deny. The Islamic Shariah doesn’t rule based on sayings, but based on witness and solid evidence. Haven’t you heard what God Almighty said, “O you who believe! If a troublemaker brings you any news, investigate,” and “Surely, those who say: “Our Lord is God,” and then go straight …” to the rest of verse. This is how God ordered us not to base our judgments on mere sayings. As to the Coalition, this is the product of deep Saudi hatred of Yemen. This hatred dates back to the September 26th, the 70-day siege and the problems on the battlefield. In this way, the episode of enmity against Yemen continues. They have been waiting for a chance, not to protect Yemen, but to destroy it and its civilization and resources until the ousted, dishonest, son of Indian maid came and gave them this chance on a gold platter.

REPLY
| 2019-07-30

May God give victory to al-Mansur Bellah and Ben Salman!

REPLY
| 2019-07-26

I don't think that Houthis are lying; it's the Coalition that's lying.

REPLY
| 2019-07-25

Alright.

REPLY
| 2019-07-21

Liars, falsifiers and makers of fake news will be exposed by God. They’ll, with God’s grace and planning, at some point be bitten by their own work.

REPLY
| 2019-06-24

It's the coalition which is killing Yemenis with the support of America and Israel.

REPLY
| 2019-07-30

By God, you're lying, Magis!

REPLY
| 2019-06-15

The media must be sincere and constructive. What we have seen from your news are fabrications, fake news and prejudice, as if you’re working with another country other than Yemen. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen have been killed at the hands of occupiers and invaders, and instead of siding with your homeland and its people, who are the majority, you side with a few who have allied with enemies for a bunch of filthy money. The free media, although it has to report what others say, it has to be patriotic and takes sides with its homeland as a principle like all other media professionals in other countries. Have you seen the media operating against its own country in the West or in the East like you do now?!! You won’t find anyone like you in taking sides with countries that have killed, destroyed and torn your country apart. What should we call you?! Treacherous agents, mercenaries, devoid of humanity and links to religion, blood and language?! You’re just the arms of invaders. If you think you’ve succeeded, you’ll be exposed. God willing, you’ll receive the relevant reward for what you’ve done. Yemen will remain free and strong, and neither you nor your financiers will be able to bend it. Long live Yemen! Death to traitors who are the arms of invaders!

REPLY