Houthis 'tortured' imprisoned journalists, minister claims

Houthi rebels 'tortured' four jailed journalists, Yemeni minister claims
2 min read
15 September, 2021
The men have experienced grave torture, including electrocution and even physical assault with metal rods, according to Moammar Al-Eryani, Yemen's information minister.
Yemen's Houthi rebels have repeatedly been accused of serious human rights violations [Getty]

Houthi rebels have tortured four imprisoned journalists, Yemen's internationally recognised authorities claimed on Tuesday.

The men have experienced grave torture including electrocution and even physical assault with metal rods, Moammar Al-Eryani, the nation's information minister alleged.

The men have been in detention for over six years, the minister said.

The captives are currently being held in solitary detention, the state's Saba news agency reported.

All four were victims of enforced disappearance, the news agency said.

The men have not been permitted to receive visitors, Al-Eryani said, and have been refused access to medication even though they have fallen ill.

Al-Eryani implored the UN, rights groups, media, the international community and others to wield their influence to secure the journalists' freedom.

The Houthis have yet to comment on the accusations.

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The Houthis have been fighting the Yemeni state for 17 years and now hold large swathes of territory, including the country's capital, Sanaa. They have long been accused of serious human rights violations.

Last Monday, Al-Eryani took to Twitter to urge the international community to help secure the freedom of Entisar Al-Hammadi, a 20-year-old model who has been detained by the Houthis for around six months now.

In June, it was reported Al-Hammadi was meant to suffer a so-called "virginity test", but it was not conducted after rights group Amnesty International issued a message condemning this, her lawyer said.

Such examinations constitute "sexual violence", the NGO said, adding that they "amount to torture under international law."

Meanwhile, the Houthis on Wednesday alleged coalition warplanes had bombed the cities of Marib, Taiz and Saada, the rebel-aligned Al-Masirah broadcaster said.

The international forces – who are headed by Saudi Arabia – hit various locations, including the Taiz airport, a total of 35 times, the Houthis claimed.

It is not apparent if anyone was injured or killed, or how badly the sites reportedly struck were harmed.

The coalition has yet to issue comment on the strikes.