Houthis marrying Yemeni underage girls by force: press

Iran-backed Houthi rebels brandish their weapons at a gathering in Sanaa in this file photo. (AFP)
Updated 07 April 2017
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Houthis marrying Yemeni underage girls by force: press

ADEN: The Yemeni government said people kidnapped and held at militants’ prisons number more than 14,000 since the militias started invading several provinces two years ago. Besides, young girls are being forced to marry leaders and soldiers of Houthi militants despite parents’ refusal, local Yemeni press reported recently.
Parents who object to the forced marriage of their daughters are threatened with death, imprisonment, torture and even displacement and confiscation of property, according to an SPA report.
Houthis have been attempting to impose a foreign agenda and beliefs on the Yemeni civilians living in Sanaa and in other areas under their control, according to the reports.
The “Houthi supervisors,” as residents in Ibb Province call them, turned to forced marriage after the Yemeni society proved reluctant to accept the militants’ foreign agenda and traditions. Yemeni tribes reject marriages unless they are based on their own customs and traditions.
Local media reported a man in Madaq village in Badan Province was about to have his house and land confiscated when he refused to give his 16-year-old girl in marriage to a Houthi leader.
In the town of Habish in the same province, one businessman was kidnapped and blackmailed into approving his daughter’s marriage to a Houthi supervisor in the area.
“Armed militants took him to force him to approve the marriage despite the girl’s young age and rejection of the marriage,” local people told the media.
In Al-Radhmah, east of Ibb Province, a girl was kidnapped by Houthis and forced to marry a Houthi leader at gunpoint.
Local sources in Ibb Province said more than 18 cases of forcible marriage are known to residents. The number could be in hundreds given the fact many parents are afraid of speaking out, they said.
Meanwhile, a statement by the Yemeni Human Rights Ministry showed that individuals that have been forcibly disappeared number nearly 3,000 people including Minister of Defense General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi and the senior member of the Al-Islah Party, Mohammad Qahtan. Senior Yemeni officials Nasir Mansour Hadi and Faisal Rajab who were included in the United Nations Security Council resolutions, also are missing. The statement said those kidnapped included many political, media and rights figures.
The statement also said the militias turned more than 400 government offices into prisons. An estimated 73 people died in these prisons as a result of torture.


Syria Kurds urge world to take back foreign militants

Updated 24 March 2019
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Syria Kurds urge world to take back foreign militants

  • The Kurdish administration’s top foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar warned that its foreign captives still pose a threat
  • Many of the suspected militants’ countries of origin are reluctant to take them back due to potential security risks

OMAR OIL FIELD, Syria: Syria’s Kurds warned Sunday that the thousands of foreign militants they have detained in their fight against the Daesh group are a time-bomb the international community urgently needs to defuse.
Speaking a day after Kurdish-led forces announced the final demise of the militants’ physical “caliphate,” the Kurdish administration’s top foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar warned that its foreign captives still pose a threat.
“There are thousands of fighters, children and women and from 54 countries, not including Iraqis and Syrians, who are a serious burden and danger for us and for the international community,” Omar said.
“Numbers increased massively during the last 20 days of the Baghouz operation,” he said, referring to the village by the Euphrates where diehard militants made a bloody last stand.
The fate of foreign Daesh fighters has become a major issue as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces closed in on the once-sprawling proto-state the militants declared in 2014.
After a months-long assault by the US-backed SDF to flush out the last Daesh strongholds in the Euphrates Valley, militants and their families gradually gathered in Baghouz as the last rump of the “caliphate” shrank around them.
While some managed to escape, many of the foreigners stayed behind, either surrendering to the SDF or fighting to the death.
According to the SDF, 66,000 people left the last Daesh pocket since January, including 5,000 militants and 24,000 of their relatives.
The assault was paused multiple times as the SDF opened humanitarian corridors for people evacuating the besieged enclave.
The droves of people scrambling out of Baghouz in recent weeks were screened by the SDF and dispatched to camps further north, where most are still held.
The de facto autonomous Kurdish administration is northeastern Syria has warned it does not have capacity to detain so many people, let alone put them on trial.
But many of the suspected militants’ countries of origin are reluctant to take them back due to potential security risks and a likely public backlash.
Some have even withdrawn citizenship from their nationals detained in Syria.
“There has to be coordination between us and the international community to address this danger,” Abdel Karim Omar said.
“There are thousands of children who have been raised according to IS ideology,” he added.
“If these children are not reeducated and reintegrated in their societies of origin, they are potential future terrorists.”