Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Houthis Keep Detained Saleh Relatives in Inhumane Conditions

Houthis Keep Detained Saleh Relatives in Inhumane Conditions

Monday, 27 August, 2018 - 07:30
A Houthi militant in Yemen. (Reuters)
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat
A Yemeni lawmaker and leading member of the General People’s Congress (GPC) revealed that the Iran-backed Houthis were detaining the relatives of slain former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in inhumane conditions in a secret location in the capital, Sanaa.

MP Abdulrahman Maazab revealed that he, along with a number of lawmakers and GPC members, had visited them around a month before he fled to liberated regions in Yemen.

Maazab published a post on his Facebook page in which he recounted the details of his visit to Saleh’s relatives.

The Houthis arrested the relatives soon after they assassinated the former president in December after he decided to turn his back on his alliance with the militias and open a new chapter in ties with the Saudi-led Arab coalition and legitimate government in Yemen.

The detainees include his two sons Madyan and Salah, his nephew, Mohammed Mohammed Saleh, and his brother’s grandson, Afash Tareq Saleh.

Maazab’s post refuted Houthi claims that they had released the relatives from detention and they they were simply being held under house arrest in a villa in an upper class neighborhood south of Sanaa.

When he visited the villa with other GPC members, he was surprised at the luxury of the residence, almost believing that the Houthis, for once, were true to their claims.

He soon realized that he could not see any prisoners. He waited, expecting the detainees to make an appearance but to no avail.

After some 40 minutes, the Houthis escorted them out of the villa to a vehicle that is used to transport prisoners where they found the relatives.

Maazab was not left alone with prisoners, whom he said seemed to enjoy a higher morale than their visitors.

They revealed that they were being kept in a windowless room on the ground floor of the villa where the are under constant surveillance.

The prisoners are also forced to watch only Houthi and Iranian television channels, as well as the al-Manar channel of the Lebanese “Hezbollah” armed group, revealed Maazab.

Saleh’s relatives could not deliver direct messages to their loved ones on the outside given the Houthis’ close watch of the meeting with the GPC visitors.

At the end of his post, Maazab pleaded with the human rights groups, United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, the legitimate government and other GPC leaders to address the issue of Saleh’s captive relatives.

Editor Picks