Media activists expose Houthis’ crimes in Taiz

Media activists expose Houthis’ crimes in Taiz

Alsahwa Net- A group of media activists have exposed on Sunday during a seminar in Taiz city a record of Houthis’ crimes committed during a five-year rebellion against citizens in Taiz.

The seminar is part of several social activities that human rights and media activists carry out nationwide to profile the Houthis’ rebellion that marked fifth anniversary on Saturday 21 September 2019.

 Organizers of the seminar said that total civilian deaths in Taiz reached 1,291 where victims were killed mostly by random shells shot by the Houthis at residential areas throughout Taiz.

The death cases included 622 men, 157 women, 370 children and 143 elderlies.

Media activists indicated that the Houthis’ rebellion took place while the people of Yemen were looking forward to seeing a new federal state in line to the agreed document of the national dialogue conference.

Yet, the 21st September 2014-coup that the Houthis and their former ally, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh orchestrated by regional support has not solely foiled the new political system. It literally brought Yemen back half a century ago when the northern part of the country used to be ruled by a family monarchy system known as the Imamates, journalist Abdulaziz Al-Majidi said during the seminar.

He explained that the Houthis-coup has also put the country’s unity and public peace at risk. The Houthis who believe that they have a divine right to rule, left no space for the political pluralism and freedom of expression. Anyone who criticizes them is subject to imprisonment or death for charges of being supportive to the Saudi-led coalition.

The Houthis and Saleh’s forces used journalists as human shields at military sites that were targeted by the Saudi-led airstrikes, according to Al-Majidi.

About 17 journalists remain in captivity by the Houthis rebels since 2015.

Detained journalists in Houthis-run detention centers are vulnerable to various forms of psychological and physical torture. The detainee’s families were not notified of their relatives’ detention places or their fate for over one year, Al-Majidi noted.

Anwer Al-Rukn, a journalist in Taiz died few days of his release by the Houthis after three-year in a secret detention center.

The Houthi rebels killed 39 reporters across Yemen between 2015 to 2018, according to Al-Majidi.

Ali Al-Sarari, a lawyer in Taiz who spoke at the Sunday’s seminar in Taiz, said that Yemen’s national laws criminalize such acts. He explained that Yemen’s Penalty Act criminalizes abduction, banditry and arbitrary disappearance.

In times of war, all parties to the conflict are obliged to ensure protection of civilians in line to the Geneva Convention and the International Humanitarian Law.  

He indicated that the application of the International Humanitarian   Law neither jeopardize the country’s sovereignty nor halt the government’s right to quell rebellion by the use of force and bring rebels to justice according to the national laws.

He added that the Houthis’ besiege on Taiz city is a war crime that is imprescriptible.

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