In an unprecedented security deployment, Houthi security forces have spread throughout Sanaa, intensifying a campaign of arrests against individuals suspected of participating in celebrations marking the anniversary of the September 26 Revolution.
The group threatened opposition figures while its supporters continued their campaign against Yemeni women, accusing them of being agents.
Local sources and residents in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis had closed the Sabeen Square, which is one of Sanaa's largest squares and a significant place for youth and military displays.
The Houthi forces have deployed armed units throughout various districts of the capital and pursued young individuals accused of participating in the September 26 Revolution anniversary celebrations. They arrested numerous individuals, including teenagers.
According to sources, Houthis promised to release detainees under fourteen years of age after detaining them for several days. However, the rest of the prisoners will be referred to intelligence agencies for investigation, sparking fears of torture.
Houthi media continues its campaign against celebration participants, particularly in Sanaa and Ibb.
Local sources reported that opposition figures received death threats for calling for the release of detainees.
- The government denounces
Yemen's Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Moammar al-Eryani condemned the Houthi smear campaign against Yemeni women who took to Sanaa streets, raising flags and chanting national slogans, in celebration of the 61st anniversary of the September 26 Revolution.
Eryani said the campaign revealed the "true and ugly face of the militia and its disavowal of all values and customs."
The Minister noted that Yemeni women suffered unprecedented pains since the Houthi militia's coup in 2015, as thousands of women were abducted from their homes, workplaces, public streets, and checkpoints.
The Yemeni Minister warned of Houthi "brainwashing" attempts through media, platforms, and cultural policies implemented in schools and universities.
The attempts aim to "limit the role of women to be a reproductive role driven by the idea of jihad and providing child soldiers who use them as fuel for their endless wars, and pushes women to retreat to home."
The Minister characterized Houthi group policies as "destructive policies for the society that extend to future generations, and with which they lead Yemen in the footsteps of the Taliban and other terrorist groups to threaten not only the peace of Yemen but the security and peace of the entire world."
Eryani criticized restricting women's movement and freedom by preventing their movement between governorates and their travel through Sanaa airport without a mahram, a male relative escort.
He stated that the Houthis prohibited them from working with organizations, using telephones and cosmetics, and going to restaurants without showing the marriage contract, and sitting in public places.
- Diverse violations
The Minister highlighted Houthi practices against women, stating that they mobilized and recruited hundreds of women, blackmailed them for their livelihoods, and integrated them into their security apparatus known as al-Zainabiyat.
He called on the international community, the UN, its special envoy to Yemen, and human and women's rights organizations to assume their part in stopping ongoing Houthi violations against Yemeni women.
According to him, they constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination against Women.
Eryani emphasized the need to work immediately to release all abducted and forcibly disappeared women, prosecute those involved in crimes and violations against Yemeni women, and include the militia and its leaders on terrorist lists.