Differences, tensions run high with rebels in Sanaa

In this April 16, 2015 file photo, The shadow of Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, are cast on a large representation of the Yemeni flag as they attend a demonstration against an arms embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council on Houthi leaders, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 06 April 2017

Differences, tensions run high with rebels in Sanaa

HAIL: Adel Al-Shujaa, senior member of General People’s Congress (GPC) party in Yemen filed a case against Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi militias following a speech Al-Houthi gave last week.
Al-Shujaa deemed the speech an act of racism, hatred and sectarianism, adding that it was a blatant violation of the rights of the Yemeni people. He said the speech contained direct instructions to practice violence against those who do not abide by the Houthi ways, and clearly called for eliminating those who stand in opposition.
“Ignoring or turning a blind eye to this speech will lead to bloodshed of groups who are incited against them, and will lead to more massacres than those of the Nazis,” he added.
“This speech cheapens and devalues the blood of all Yemenis and calls for continual war without any regard for people’s lives and futures.”
Sources have reported that the ongoing conflict between ousted-president Ali Abdullah Saleh and leaders of the Houthi group in Sana’a have intensified, as Saleh ordered the detention of the brother of Houthi leader Abdulkhaliq Al-Houthi in a cell inside the Saleh reserve forces camp in Sawad Haziz south of Sana’a, along with a number of companions.
They were imprisoned for hours before they were released due to the intervention of both groups’ leaders. Houthis continue to target media outlets and journalists loyal to Saleh, cracking down on them and preventing them from reporting information freely.
Head of Al-Thawra Press Foundation, under directives from Houthi leadership, suspended 16 employees from their work and transferred them over to prosecutors on charges of destabilizing peace and making death threats against the head of the foundation.
According to sources in Sana’a, Houthis have been pressuring GPC’s media officials, using various means to force them to abandon certain demands related to media outlets.
The sources pointed to continual Houthi pressures of this nature on other congress members, given the GPC’s inability to confront them.

Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

Updated 24 April 2019

Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

  • Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country
  • The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation

PRISTINA: Kosovo prosecutors have requested the house arrest of 16 women repatriated from Syria, saying they are suspected of joining or taking part as foreign fighters there.

The women appeared on Wednesday in court in Pristina, a day after 10 other women were put under house arrest. None have been charged with a crime.

Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country.

The women and children were sent to the Foreign Detention Centre in the outskirts of Pristina but were freed to go home after 72 hours.

Ten women were seen entering Pristina Basic Court in a police escort on Tuesday. The court said in a statement later that they had been placed under house arrest on charges of joining foreign armed groups and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019.

The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation and more of them are expected to appear in front of judges on Wednesday. The prosecution has yet to file charges.

After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return to their home countries.

Kosovo's population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but the country is largely secular in outlook. More than 300 of its citizens travelled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.

Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and eight children remain in the conflict zones. The government said it plans to bring back those who are still there.

International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — the four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were returned to Kosovo with assistance from the United States, the first such move for a European country.

Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria.