Houthis inflicting 'grave abuses' on Yemeni women: report

Houthis inflicting 'grave abuses' on Yemeni women: report

2 min read
21 March, 2021
The report collected testimonies of victims, relatives of victims and eyewitnesses who suffered during the years of war, especially those in Houthi prisons, police stations, and military checkpoints.
The women in detention had been allegedly subjected to “severe torture” and “cruel treatment”. [Getty]
Yemeni women have been subject to killings, physical injuries, arbitrary detention, and other violations of human rights amid current conflict between Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition, a new report released by human rights group SAM has said.

The Geneva-based rights group recorded more than 4,000 violations by the end of 2020, many of which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. These include killings, physical injuries and arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, torture, denial of movement, plus "more than 900,000 displaced women in the Marib camps".

The report entitled "Women in Yemen: Prolonged Suffering and Horrific Violations" outlined that the Houthi rebels are responsible for a staggering 70% of rights violations recorded, with the legal government responsible for 18%, the Southern Transitional Council for 5%, and other sources for 7%.

"This war has left deep scars in the lives of Yemeni women, at the public or private levels, especially women who were subjected to arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture in Houthi militia prisons in Sana'a, Amran and Hodeida," said Tawfiq Al Hamidi, President of SAM for Rights and Liberties.

"[SAM] is seeking to turn the violations suffered by women in Yemen into a global issue that gets international sympathy and to correct the course of the legal struggle against women in the light of the disastrous consequences of the cursed war."

The report collected testimonies of victims, relatives of victims and eyewitnesses who suffered during the years of war, especially those in Houthi prisons, police stations, and military checkpoints.

The Houthis are also accused of having formed a security apparatus for women, "which is responsible for breaking into houses, arresting and recruiting women, and collecting information on the ground on adversaries".

The women in detention had been allegedly subjected to "severe torture" and "cruel treatment", which led many of them to attempt suicide.

SAM called on the Houthis to "release all women imprisoned on political grounds, stop placing more women in prison and improve the conditions of women imprisoned while their release procedures are completed."

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in Yemen's long war, which has crippled the economy and healthcare system.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015, enforcing a naval and air blockade to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the rebels from Iran - allegations Tehran denies.

After six years of relentless fighting, the conflict that has brought Yemen to its knees just as the United Nations warns the country could tip into wide-scale famine at any moment.

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