A court in Yemen's Sanaa, which is held by the Houthis (Ansarallah), has sentenced a journalist to death on charges of spying, AFP reported Thursday (April 13th).
Yahya al-Jubaihi, 61, was convicted of establishing "contact with a foreign state" and providing Saudi diplomats in Sanaa with "reports that posed harm to Yemen militarily, politically and economically", the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported.
Prosecutors alleged that al-Jubaihi had been receiving a monthly salary of 4,500 Saudi riyals ($1,200) from Riyadh since 2010, four years before the Houthis overran the capital, Saba added.
The Yemeni press union condemned the "arbitrary" sentence, accusing the Houthis of "targeting the freedom of the press".
The union said al-Jubaihi was a "veteran journalist with a long record of professional work across Yemen", reporting that he had been seized from his home on September 6th.
The Yemeni Information Ministry, based in Aden, said al-Jubaihi's trial was a "farce" and accused the Houthis of looking to "settle political accounts... through a politicised judiciary".
Al-Jubaihi wrote regular columns in Saudi dailies Okaz and Al-Madina, as well as in Yemeni newspapers. He served at the government's press department in the 1990s and 2000s.