Houthis ‘torture and kill prisoners’ in Hodeidah who refuse to fight for them: reports

Supporters of the Houthis demonstrate in the capital Sanaa on 25 June 2018, in support of fellow Houthis engaged in battles against the coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 30 June 2018
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Houthis ‘torture and kill prisoners’ in Hodeidah who refuse to fight for them: reports

  • The central prison in Hodeidah, which is situated in the south of the city, holds more than 700 prisoners.
  • Houthi militias called hundreds of its gunmen to the prison in order to force inmates to fight for them and randomly opened fire when the prisoners refused to leave.

LONDON: The inmates of the central prison in Hodeidah, Yemen, have refused to yield to Houthi demands to fight in their ranks, prompting the militia to torture inmates, set fire to prison wards, and shoot inmates with live bullets, according to reports.
At least three inmates have died as a result of Houthi torture and 20 others have been injured, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
There has also been a reported rise in Houthi violations of citizen’s rights in the areas that they control, including the looting of bank funds, and imposing restrictions on commercial companies.
Houthi militias have also tried to sell large properties belonging to the General People’s Congress party in Hodeidah and Taiz.
Relatives of prisoners told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthi militia decided to transfer hundreds of central prison inmates to unknown locations on Friday morning and that it is very likely that they were taken to training camps in order to force them to fight in Houthi ranks.
Houthi militias called hundreds of its gunmen to the prison in order to force inmates to fight for them and randomly opened fire when the prisoners refused to leave. Gas bombs were also used to force inmates to surrender.
Houthi militia have lately resorted to recruiting the inmates of prisons in Sanaa, Ibb, Dhamar, Hajjah, Al-Mahwit because they need more fighters. Children, teenagers, civilian employees, and residents of homes for orphans have also been recruited.
The central prison in Hodeidah, which is situated in the south of the city, holds more than 700 prisoners. They fear that they will be used as human shields if they continue to refuse to fight for the Houthis.


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.