Houthi rebels parade in Sanaa on December 19, 2017. (Reuters)

August 28, 2021

The Iran-backed Houthi militias admitted to kidnapping 140 civilians after accusing them of collaborating with the legitimate government, according to well-informed Yemeni sources.

The sourced confirmed that the militias also abducted several women in several areas under their control.

Rights activists in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the group’s gunmen have carried out a massive arrest campaign targeting civilians, men, and women of different ages and political affiliations since the beginning of this month.

They indicated that the unjustified campaigns targeted homes, residential neighborhoods, schools, universities, markets, parks, cafes, and private businesses resulting in the arrest of hundreds of civilians.

The Houthi security media website confirmed that the group’s gunmen kidnapped more than 140 citizens in Sanaa and other Yemeni cities during the second week of August.

The website explained that the persons were taken for their involvement in “sharing intelligence with the government and the Arab Coalition,” one of the pretexts Houthis use to justify arbitrary arrests and abuses against civilians.

The militia media did not provide any information about the identity of the kidnapped civilians, their place of abduction, or their fate.

Human rights sources believe that the number of civilians recently arrested by the group is more than what it announced in its media.

Hundreds of Houthi detention centers, including secret prisons in Sanaa and other cities under its control, are established due to the group’s intensification of its campaigns of prosecution and kidnapping, according to the sources.

The insurgents are accused of putting thousands of Yemenis in secret prisons for opposing the group and its methods.

Over the past few years, Houthi confessed to committing multiple kidnappings against Yemenis.

In April 2020, the group admitted that it had kidnapped more than 6,000 people in its areas after accusing them of supporting the legitimate Yemeni government and the Coalition while discussing the repressive actions of its security services, accomplished in three years.

The number of those forcibly disappeared by the group was limited to those kidnapped by the security services affiliated with its Ministry of Interior.

However, Yemeni human rights defenders, who spoke earlier with Asharq Al-Awsat, said that the group’s intelligence services had kidnapped thousands of others, many of whom are civil activists or affiliated with various parties.

Over the past few years, local and international reports accused the Houthi militia of escalating crimes of persecution and kidnapping against civilians in the cities under their control, including women and children.

A recent report issued by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights revealed that about 1,635 Yemeni detainees were subjected to severe psychological and physical torture, while about 350 prisoners, including 33 women, died as a result of torture.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.