middle east

Houthi death penalties condemned by Yemeni government, activists


Government officials, human rights activists and journalists on Wednesday strongly condemned the death sentences handed down to Yemenis by the Iran-backed Houthis.

The Specialized Criminal Court in Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis, on Tuesday sentenced to death three people, including a school principal, on charges of colluding with the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen and the Yemeni government.

Fahed Al-Salami, who runs Al-Nahdah private school in Sanaa, Sadeq Mohammed Al-Majedi and Khaled Ahmed Al-Oulefi were found guilty of forming five military units of hundreds of fighters to undermine security in Houthi-controlled areas, sending the locations of military sites to the coalition, and receiving training and military support from the government in the central city of Marib.

The court also handed down jail terms to 10 other people, including a journalist at Yemen’s official news agency, who were abducted in 2015 and 2016.

Yemeni officials and activists said that all 13 people had been abducted from their homes or offices in Sanaa and tortured by the Houthis.

Majed Fadhail, deputy minister of human rights and part of a government delegation involved in prisoner swap talks with the militia, told Arab News on Wednesday that the abductees were on the government’s list of people who would be swapped with Houthi prisoners.

He accused the Houthis of using judicial bodies in areas under their control to get rid of their opponents.

“Those abducted academics, teachers, journalists and doctors are facing trumped up charges,” Fadhail said. “The judicial system is no longer effective and the Houthis are using it as a tool to silence their challengers.”

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