Houthi militias in Yemen on Saturday defied human rights and government warnings and executed nine civilians, including a minor, in the insurgency-held capital of Sanaa after accusing them of involvement in the targeted killing of Saleh al-Samad in April 2018.
Samad, who held the post of president in the Houthi-controlled administration which runs most of northern Yemen, was killed in an air strike in the port city of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast.
The execution of the nine civilians from Hodeidah was described as a total war crime by the internationally recognized government and has sparked widespread outrage among human rights activists in the war-torn country.
Hundreds of activists took to social media against the Houthi move and accused the Iran-backed militia of striking fear among civilians in areas under its control by carrying out such actions.
They also called on human rights organizations to intervene and get the militia to quit its crimes against civilians.
The execution of nine civilians in Yemen, including a 17-year-old minor, at the hands of the Iran-backed Houthis should be considered a terrorist crime, said Yemen’s Minister of Information.
“Iranian-backed Houthi militias executed nine civilians [from] Hodeidah, [including] minor, after years of enforced disappearance and torture that led to death of one, and subjected them to mock trial, deprived of basic rights is a terrorist crime that reveals its criminality and disregard for lives of Yemenis,” Yemeni Minister of Information Moammar al-Eryani tweeted on Saturday.
“The massacre is an escalation that recalls Iranian mullahs’ execution of its opponents, and launch of mass killings of opponents of its coup, and use of the judiciary under its control as a tool to settle its political scores terrorize its opponents politicians, media and journalists,” he added.
“We affirm that the horrific crimes committed by terrorist Houthi militia against civilians in, and cold-blooded murder of 9 civilians, won’t be subject to statute of limitations and go unpunished, and that all militia leaders and elements involved in it will be brought to justice soon,” al-Eryani said.
Al-Eryani said the internationally-recognized government of Yemen had regrets over the “international community, United Nations, UN and US envoys silence and inaction regarding Houthis militia’s continuing crimes and violations against civilians,” adding that the crimes of the Houthis were “no less bloody and heinous than that of al-Qaeda and ISIS.”