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

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.


Egypt churches reopen as new infections wane

Updated 1 min 27 sec ago

Egypt churches reopen as new infections wane

  • The Coptic Orthodox Church said it would receive the faithful in its churches with restrictions
  • Egypt on Sunday reported its lowest daily confirmed coronavirus cases in more than two months

CAIRO: Egypt’s churches are reopening their doors to the faithful on Monday for the first time in more than four months due to a coronavirus lockdown.
The Coptic Orthodox Church said in a statement that it would receive the faithful in its churches with restrictions that include social distancing and wearing masks.
Other churches are also reopening across the Arab World’s most populous county, which has seen a steady decline in coronavirus infections in the past two weeks.
Christians constitute around 10% of Egypt’s predominantly Muslim 100 million people.
Egypt on Sunday reported its lowest daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in more than two months, with 167 infections and 31 deaths.
Overall, Egypt has reported around 94,450 confirmed cases including 4,865 fatalities.