The Iran-backed Houthi militias are seeking to seize several hotels and private institutions in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, which they control, revealed informed Yemeni sources.
The militias, explained the sources, are aiming to manipulate judicial authorities to seize a hotel in Sanaa that is owned by a Yemeni expatriate residing in the United States. The Houthis allege that the expatriate enjoys close ties to late former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed by the militias in December 2017.
Just days ago, a Houthi court in Sanaa ordered that the hotel be seized. Lawyer Abdulrahman Barman dismissed the order, saying it has no legal basis.
In a Facebook post, he said the militias have sought to seize the hotel, which the expatriate had started to construct some 20 years ago.
Other lawyers and legal experts said the Houthis are exploiting their control over the judiciary to confiscate properties, homes and institutions belonging to figures that oppose them.
The sources explained that after squeezing out every penny they could out of businesses, the Houthis have now set their sights on confiscating the houses and properties of their opponents.
Ever since their 2014 coup, the Houthis have always carried out oppressive campaigns against hundreds of hotels, recreational centers and cafes under the pretext of ensuring segregation between males and females. They have also stopped various celebrations under hollow excuses.
The latest violations have seen the Houthis seize dozens of civilian houses and properties in the Sanaa countryside and Amran province, which are both under the militias’ control.
Local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthi gunmen seized the homes of opponents in the villages of Tawar, Jahana, al-Hosn and many others.
Residents were ordered to immediately evacuate their homes. Dozens of families have been evicted.
Rights activists in Sanaa said the Houthis are seeking to reap massive wealth from their looting and extortion of opposition figures. The intimidation is aimed at forcing opponents to join the militia ranks and support their coup.
In Amran, local sources confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the militias were rapidly and steadily seizing properties belonging to civilians, military officials, politicians and tribal figures. The campaign specifically targets opponents who support the legitimate authorities and reject the coup.