HRW accuses Yemen rebels of torture, arbitrary detention

Yemeni tribal fighters gather in Sanaa, Yemen on Nov. 10, 2016, to show support to the Iran-backed Houthi movement. Houthi forces were accused by the Human Rights Watch on Thursday of committing atrocities against their prisoners. (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)
Updated 18 November 2016
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HRW accuses Yemen rebels of torture, arbitrary detention

DUBAI/CAIRO: Human Rights Watch accused Yemeni rebels on Thursday of arbitrarily detaining, torturing and forcibly disappearing opponents since they overran the capital in September 2014.
The group said it had documented two deaths in custody and 11 cases of alleged torture, one of of a child.
It said they were among hundreds of reported cases of arbitrary detention by the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies — renegade troops loyal to ousted strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The rebels are battling government forces who are backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition, which intervened in March 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into exile.
The New York-based group also urged the Houthis to release the detainees and hold officials accountable.
“The authorities (in Sanaa) should free those wrongfully held immediately, end detention without access to lawyers or family members, and prosecute officials responsible for mistreatment,” HRW said.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the Mideast director at Human Rights Watch, said the war between the Houthis and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition "provides no justification for torture and 'disappearance' of perceived opponents."
The United Nations says more than 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 37,000 wounded since the coalition intervention started. Millions more are in desperate need of aid.


New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

Updated 26 April 2019
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New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

  • The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July
  • Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues

RABAT: The Moroccan government on Thursday announced a “new social deal” with employers and the main labor unions, under which many workers will enjoy a pay rise.
The deal agreed by the General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) and the three main unions — the UMT, UGTM and UNMT — is the fruit of months of negotiations
The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July, except for the agricultural sector.
Government-paid family allowances will also rise.
Meanwhile public sector workers will be given a 300-500 dirham monthly pay increase over three years.
Of Morocco’s main trade unions only the Democratic Labour Confederation has not signed the social deal which, according to the government statement, is aimed at “improving spending power and the social climate.”
Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues, in particular health and education in the north African country which has been hit by protests over employment and corruption.
Mohammed VI pointed to social support and social protection programs that “overlap each other, suffer from a lack of consistency and fail to effectively target eligible groups.”
After months of stalemate, the dossier was handed to the interior ministry at the beginning of the year and the final rounds of talks were held.
The social unrest began in October 2016 after the death of a fisherman and spiralled into a wave of protests demanding more development in the neglected Rif region and railing against corruption and unemployment.
Morocco is marked by glaring social and territorial inequalities, against a backdrop of high unemployment among young people. In 2018, it was ranked 123rd out of 189 countries and territories on the Human Development Index.