Human Rights

Yemen human rights ministry submits list of Houthi crimes to UN

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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Houthi rebels and their supporters watch on a big screen a live speech given by leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, as they attend a rally outside al-Saleh mosque in Sanaa on the occasion of the Prophet Mohammed's birthday on November 30th. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

Yemen’s Human Rights Ministry sent on Monday (December 11th) a list of violations committed by the Houthi (Ansarallah) militia to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The ministry's memo included a preliminary list of Houthi crimes and violations against the Yemeni people in general and members of the General People's Congress (GPC) in particular, the Saba news agency reported.

Houthi violence has intensified recently with the killing of ex-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and top GPC leaders.

The militia's abuses include murders, liquidations, tortures, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, booby-trapping houses and completely or partially destroying them.

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Houthi fighters stand guard after a reported airstrike carried out by the Arab coalition targeted the presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 5th. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

The memo detailed the crimes and abuses committed by the Houthi militia in all provinces, including Sanaa, Hajjah, Dhamar, Mahwit, Ibb, Amran and other provinces under their control or besieged by them.

It also indicated that Houthi militias are imposing unprecedented isolation on Sanaa and offered frightening statistics on Houthi crimes there, which include storming houses and terrifying women and children.

For example, they stormed and looted the house of director of Dar al-Rahma Orphanage in Sanaa, Ruqayya al-Hajri, and kidnapped three of her children.

According to the memorandum, the Houthi militia in Hajjah province executed more than 20 people, including sheikhs, GPC leaders and children, and arrested more than 200 civilians, most of whom are still unaccounted for and some of them have forcibly disappeared.

In addition, the militia terrified civilians, rigged more than 11 houses with explosives and detonated them, and destroyed more than 100 private properties, either wholly or partially.

Houthi militias have committed several crimes against Dhamar residents, which include murders, arrests, forced disappearances, and liquidations. They attacked the residents of Rasaba village in Dhamar, killed several of them, blew up three houses and a number of shops, and stormed mosques.

'Unprecedented brutality'

The memo is an official complaint, lawyer and human rights activist Abdul Rahman Barman told Al-Mashareq.

"There has been unprecedented brutality in Yemen targeting GPC members since the killing of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh," he said.

"We have never seen anything like it in all the crises Yemen has been through," he added.

Barman said Houthi abuses have targeted Saleh’s relatives and loyalists and went as far as confiscating their assets.

"As of Friday evening, the [Houthis] had arrested and detained 1,200 people at the Central Prison," he said, adding that the the prison can no longer accommodate more detainees.

Barman criticised the Houthis for the way they treated the parents of detainees who tried to inquire about the fate of their children, adding that they were not allowed to know anything about them.

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