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Yemen's Insurgents Tighten Restrictions on Civilians Traveling for Work

Yemen's Insurgents Tighten Restrictions on Civilians Traveling for Work

Saturday, 4 February, 2023 - 07:45
Yemenis waiting for Houthis' permission to travel abroad for work (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Houthi militia in Yemen has tightened restrictions on civilians traveling to work abroad, forcing them to pay fees and register relatives' data, according to informed sources in Sanaa.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the coup is targeting Yemenis traveling abroad for work, which would enable them to support their families back home, by imposing a new package of measures and restrictions.

The sources revealed that the Houthi militia obligated travelers with work visas to pay sums estimated at YR5,500 each, including YR2,000 to be paid to the Houthis Ministry of Expatriates. The remaining YR3,500 is paid under the pretext of paying "fees for matching criminal documents."

The militia imposes these sums for a letter with no legal premise, including a data form containing detailed information about their families.

The citizens willing to travel would have to wait for days to complete their travel procedures.

The militia recently surprised the travelers by not allowing anyone to leave if they did not have a haircut suitable for Houthi specifications to enter the so-called General Department of Criminal Evidence building in Sanaa.

Travelers who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat complained about the Houthi restrictions, accusing the group of trying, through these illegal measures, to push them to stay in the country and join the group's ranks.

They were surprised that the militia forced them to stand in queues for two hours to complete their travel procedures while they listened to lectures by the militia leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi.

Sameh, a traveler from Ibb, said that the group's gunmen prevented him from entering the Criminal Evidence Department for his travel procedures, claiming his haircut did not conform to the specifications approved by the militias.

He explained that he was allowed in the building if he got a new haircut.

Sameh stressed that the Houthi measures aimed to increase people's suffering and generate more money. He recalled that those applying for the travel documents are forced to visit many departments and stand at several checkpoints.

Last February, the Houthis implemented new traveling measures, including checkpoints that forced thousands to return home, claiming they did not have the required permits to leave the group's areas of control.

Some travelers said that the militants stopped the buses and banned them from traveling under illegal pretexts, pointing out that they were forced to return to Sanaa to obtain permission from the group's Ministry of Expatriates.

They said that the travel agencies did not inform them at the time of these decisions, pointing out that the Houthi actions and arbitrary measures cost them large sums of money, especially after they were forced to return to Sanaa to request new travel permits.

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