Human Rights

Houthis commit thousands of abuses in Sanaa in 2019: report

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


The Sanaa Human Rights Office revealed in a March 14th report that the Houthis have committed 18,850 human rights violations against Yemenis in Sanaa in 2019. [Photo circulated online]

The Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) committed over 18,000 human rights violations in Sanaa in 2019, the Sanaa Human Rights Office revealed in a Saturday (March 14th) report.

These violations, recorded between January 1st and December 31st, include executions, torture, forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, child recruitment and looting of public and private property.

Among the 18,850 violations revealed in the report, there were 76 extrajudicial executions -- including one woman and seven children -- 610 kidnappings, 183 cases of forced disappearance, 253 cases of torture at the militia's prisons and 329 cases of physical assaults.

"The Houthis proceeded with their sham political trials of opposition figures and activists, holding some 158 such trials," the report said.

They also "arbitrarily" dismissed 8,929 employees from their jobs in Sanaa in 2019, it said, adding that "there were 292 cases of looting of food aid".

The report also revealed 728 violations against children and 370 violations against women.

Abuses affect all segments of society

The abuses and crimes highlighted in the report were the ones that the monitoring team was able to document, but the real number could be higher, Sanaa Human Rights Office director general Fahmi al-Zubairi said.

"The monitoring team used investigations, field visits and personal interviews with victims and their relatives" to compile the report, he told Al-Mashareq.

"The team worked in a highly dangerous environment to document the involvement of Houthis in crimes against civilians," he said.

These will later be used as evidence in lawsuits the relatives of victims can file against the perpetrators, he said.

Al-Zubairi urged "the international community, UN, international rights organisations and the Human Rights Council to quickly intervene and pressure the Houthis to stop these violations".

Political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq the Houthis have committed all types of abuses and crimes against civilians, which affected all segments of society, including women and children.

The Houthis' abuses included looting aid, which has helped compound the people's suffering while favouring the militia's war efforts which serve Iran and not Yemen, he added.

"The impact of some of these abuses and crimes was not felt by the victims alone, but also by their families who lost their breadwinners," he said.

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