NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Houthis on Sunday for executing nine civilians without a fair trial, one of whom was 15 at the time of detention.
Guterres’s spokesman said that the UN chief “deeply regrets” the Houthi executions and “strongly condemns these actions which are a result of judicial proceedings that do not appear to have fulfilled the requirements of fair trial and due process under international law.”
The nine men were shot in the back after they were forced to lie on the floor in public. They were charged with involvement in the killing of the Houthi leader Saleh Al-Samad in 2018 by an Arab Coalition air strike.
The group were accused of putting SIM cards in the pockets of Al-Samad’s guards, helping the coalition locate him.
Al-Samad, then president of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, was visiting Hodeidah in April 2018 to incite residents to join the war when the coalition hit his convoy, killing him along with six others, and inflicting a heavy blow to the Houthis.
Guterres said he opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and reiterated that “international law sets stringent conditions for the application of the death penalty, including compliance with fair trial and due process standards as stipulated under international law.”
The UN chief called on all parties and authorities to adopt a moratorium on carrying out of the death penalty.
He also urged all everyine to cease violence in Yemen, and work with the UN to revive peace talks.
The US Embassy to Yemen also condemned the “brutal” executions and called for such “barbarism” to end.
Charge d'Affaires Cathy Westley said that “This outrageous action is another example of the Houthis indifference to basic human rights and follows only days after their attack on the commercial port of Mocha.”
The UK embassy in Yemen also condemned the “brutal” executions and said it demonstrates the “indifference to human dignity and blatant disregard for fair trial and due process.”
“Sadly, it’s not the first time. Those responsible must change and comply with international law,” a statement said.