Human Rights

Yemen commission records Houthis' abuses

By Abu Bakr al-Yamani

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Newly recruited Houthi fighters chant slogans during a gathering in Sanaa on February 2nd. A recent report accuses the Houthis of human rights violations. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

A national commission to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Yemen on Tuesday (July 11th) said it had documented 365 violations against civilians committed by the Houthis (Ansarallah) and their allies last month.

In the month of June, Houthi militias and forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed "76 civilians, including 13 women and 19 children", the committee said in a press release carried by Yemeni media.

Another 55 others were wounded when residential neighbourhoods were targeted by the Houthis, the committee said.

Other abuses included 35 arrests and forced disappearances, 25 cases of child recruitment, 10 cases of torture, 126 incidences of damage to private and public property, four house bombings and 10 deaths caused by landmines in al-Bayda.

In June, the commission also completed investigations into 205 cases, which include civilians killed or wounded by haphazard bombardment, anti-personnel or anti-vehicle landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the statement said.

These cases also include the detonation of residences, arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances of citizens in most provinces, the statement said.

"Many bloody and unfortunate incidents took place in June 2017 in a number of areas," the statement said, noting that Taez province was particularly affected.

In Taez, bombs rained down on residential neighbourhoods and outdoor markets, while snipers targeted pedestrians in al-Qahera, Sala, al-Muzafir, al-Waziyiah and Jabal Habshy districts.

"The documented abuses are the ones that the commission was able to capture despite the difficulties we face on the ground in view of the ongoing war," said commission member Abdul Rahman Barman.

These include the absence of judicial authorities and security in many areas, he told Al-Mashareq.

"The commission's work includes all abuses, whether in liberated provinces or the provinces which are still under [Houthi] control," he said.

Barman accused the Houthis of denying access to local and international organisations that monitor human rights abuses.

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