Houthis intensify clampdown on opponents

A follower of the Shi'ite Houthi movement carries a rifle during a ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen September 9, 2017. (REUTERS)
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Updated 21 July 2020

Houthis intensify clampdown on opponents

  • Houthis raid houses of lawmaker while EU calls for release of four journalists sentenced to death

AL-MUKALLA: The Iran-backed Houthis in Sanaa have stormed properties of Yasser Al-Awadhi, a tribal and political leader who led a military uprising against their rule in the central province of Al-Bayda.

The move comes amid an intensified crackdown on their opponents. They have sentenced dozens of army commanders, tribal leaders and legislators to death and confiscated properties in areas under their control.

Local media said that armed men entered Al-Awadhi’s house and told its occupants to leave, then moved to his shops around the capital.

Al-Awadhi, a senior member of the General People’s Congress and a leader of Al-Awadh tribe, last month led a large number of tribesmen against the Houthis after the Houthis refused to punish local fighters who had killed a woman.

The Houthis crushed the uprising, forcing Al-Awadhi and the tribesmen to move into government-controlled areas in Al-Bayda.

Yemen Today TV, a mouthpiece for, said the Houthis confiscated all the properties owned by Al-Awadhi and his siblings.

The Houthi official media said their security services were executing judiciary orders for confiscating properties of Yemeni political, military and tribal figures who opposed their rule and backed the internationally recognized government and the Arab coalition-led military operations in the country.

At the same time, the Houthi-controlled parliament in Sanaa has begun discussing stripping 12 MPs of their parliamentarian immunity ahead of putting them on trial for supporting the group’s enemies.

On Monday, the EU Heads of Mission to Yemen called upon the Houthis to immediately release the four Yemeni journalists who were sentenced to death, urging warring factions in Yemen to stop the harassment of journalists.

FASTFACT

In April, Houthis triggered a local and international outrage after a court under their control in Sanaa sentenced four journalists to death, accusing them of espionage.

“The EU Heads of Mission call on all parties to immediately release all detained journalists in Yemen, including Akram Al-Walidi, Abdelkhaleq Amran, Hareth Hamid and Tawfiq al-Mansouri who have been sentenced to death. The uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 makes their release all more urgent,” the mission said in a statement.

In April, Houthi triggered local and international outrage after a court under their control in Sanaa sentenced the four journalists to death, accusing them of espionage.

Officer killed

A security officer and his bodyguard were killed on Monday when unidentified gunmen attacked their military vehicle in the southern province of Abyan, Abyan security forces said in a statement.

Captain Abdullah Ahmed Al-Hanshi, the commander of Special Security Forces in Al-Mahfad district, and his bodyguard Samed Abdullah Al-Hanshi were driving their armed vehicle in Al-Haq region in Abyan’s Al-Mahfad when they came under heavy gunfire that killed them instantly.

The Yemeni government has many times accused local separatists of plotting attacks on its forces heading to neighboring Shouqra.

In the western Hodeidah, fighting raged on Monday for the third consecutive day in different contested locations in the province as the rebels sought to capture new areas outside the city of Hodeidah. The pro-government Joint Forces said in a statement that 12 Houthis, including nine snipers, were killed in foiled attacks in Durihimi, Al-Jah, Al-Fazeh, Hayes and Attuhayta.

A peace agreement signed between the government and the Houthis in late 2018 has largely failed to halt hostilities as both sides continue to trade shelling.

Local rights groups say more than 500 civilians have been killed in Houthi fire and landmines in Hodeidah since December 2018.

 

 


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