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Houthis Increase Internet Rates, Block Networks in Saada

Houthis Increase Internet Rates, Block Networks in Saada

Sunday, 29 September, 2019 - 09:00
A view of the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen August 6, 2018. (Reuters)

The Iran-backed Houthi militias have upped internet fees for the local server “Yemen Net” in areas under their control as part of their effort to raise more funds for their war agenda.

They also tightened controls on local networks in Sanaa and areas under their control. In some areas networks were completely shut down under Houthi allegations that they aim to “protect society from a Western invasion.”

Locals from the Houthi-held Saada governorate said that militias have completely cut off internet services in the area, all of which is part and parcel of their systematic oppression of the people.

Local sources, who spoke under the conditions of anonymity due to security reasons, said Houthis claim they are ridding the Yemeni society, especially youth, from the “evils of the West” when stripping them from the right to access the internet.

Houthi officials in the Hajjah and Amran governorates have also badgered local owners of Internet network services and forced them to go offline.

Yemeni activists say that the Houthi militias seek to send Yemeni people back to the way things ran before the September 26 revolution in 1962.

Pre-1962 Houthi ancestors had a monopoly on education, money and power.

Sources pointed out that the unwarranted price increase targeted all subscribers, mainly premium service applicants who make up over 90 percent of Internet users in Yemen.

The country’s national networks union threatened escalatory measures if the Houthis do not change their course of action and maintain rates.

Despite the internationally-recognized government’s decision to move the headquarters of the telecommunications sector to the interim capital, Aden, Houthis maintained their grip around Yemen's national telecommunications network since their 2014 coup.

Yemeni activists in Sanaa accuse Houthis of tapping mobile phones and landlines alike to spy on opponents, and of imposing significant restrictions on Internet speeds to limit access to websites the militias consider opposed to their coup.

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