Yemeni campaigners gather at the UN European HQ to highlight Houthi atrocities

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Updated 22 September 2019

Yemeni campaigners gather at the UN European HQ to highlight Houthi atrocities

  • Campaigners target UN European headquarters in protest against Houthis

GENEVA: Yemeni demonstrators were gathered outside the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva on Saturday to highlight the torture and killings of civilians, which they say have been carried out by the Houthi militia.

The protestors say there has also been a large number of people injured due to the indiscriminate use of weapons, while people’s houses, historic sites and educational institutions have been destroyed, and many families have been displaced.

They also say members of the press and have been oppressed, preventing them from enjoying a freedom of expression.

The protest by members of the International Yemeni Diaspora Federation and allied human rights organizations marked the anniversary of the Houthis’ coup.

On this day Houthi militia protested against the government’s decision to lift subsidies on oil derivatives.

The situation later escalated and erupted into clashes between the Houthis and the forces of Ali Abdullah Saleh, as well as the militias of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform and Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar.

More than 250 Yemenis, Arabs, Europeans, human rights activists and journalists demanded the condemnation of the crimes committed by the Houthis and the silence of the UN, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.

The protesters also condemned the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths for his silence and for resorting to pampering as a means to deal with the Houthis who continue to kill, destroy and intimidate benefiting from the UN’s soft positions.

They also denounced the complacency of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lisa Grande and her constant defense of the Houthis, calling on the International Community to help save Yemen from the militias.

Protesters handed out leaflets and called for the classification of the Houthi militia as a terrorist group as their ideology is similar to that of Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.

The Federation’s President, Dr. Hayaf Khalid Rabih demanded the issue be dealt with as a humanitarian one and not political.

He also asked the international community to act and exert pressure on the Houthis to hand over their weapons, disband the group of eminent experts and challenge the validity of their report.

Yemenis delivered speeches in Arabic, French and English expressing their frustration due to indifference and silence of the international community in the face of their people’s suffering.

They called on the Security Council and the Human Rights Council to adopt decisions condemning and criminalizing the Houthis and asked for all “peace-loving nations and people to stand up to the Iran-Backed militia.”


Iran warns of lengthy ‘new way of life’ as virus deaths rise

An Iranian army soldier walks through a temporary hospital in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, March 26, 2020. (AP)
Updated 30 March 2020

Iran warns of lengthy ‘new way of life’ as virus deaths rise

  • Without an official lockdown in place, the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay home “as much as possible”

TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani has warned that “the new way of life” in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640.
Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China.
Iran announced its first infection cases on Feb. 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.
At his daily news briefing, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 123 more people in Iran had died from the virus in the past 24 hours.
He reported 2,901 new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the overall number of officially confirmed cases to 38,309.
According to the official, 12,391 of those hospitalized have recovered and 3,467 are in “critical” condition.
“We must prepare to live with this virus until a treatment or vaccine is discovered, which has not yet happened to date,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a Cabinet meeting.
“The new way of life we have adopted” is to everyone’s benefit, he said, adding that “these changes will likely have to stay in place for some time.”
After weeks of refraining from imposing lockdown or quarantine measures, Tehran decided Wednesday to ban all intercity travel until at least April 8.
Without an official lockdown in place, the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay home “as much as possible.” Schools and universities in some provinces were closed in late February and the measure was later extended to the whole country.
After Rouhani’s warning, the reopening of schools following this year’s new year holidays of March 19 to April 3 appears unlikely.

FASTFACT

Iran announced its first infection cases on Feb. 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January

On a positive note, Rouhani said he had been told by top health experts and doctors that “in some provinces we have passed the peak (of the epidemic) and are on a downward trajectory.”
Several Iranian government officials and notable figures have been infected by the new coronavirus, some of whom have died.
The most recent case of infection was Mohammed-Reza Khatami, brother of former president Mohammad Khatami and an ex-deputy speaker of parliament.
He is currently hospitalized.
Iraj Harirchi, a deputy health minister who tested positive for the virus in late February, has returned to public life and appeared on state television to emphasize safety precautions.