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Washington Concerned over Houthi Execution Verdicts

Washington Concerned over Houthi Execution Verdicts

Monday, 15 July, 2019 - 06:30
Houthi militants ride on the back of a patrol truck as they attend a tribal gathering held to show support to the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Washington - Aden - Asharq Al-Awsat
The US on Sunday voiced concern over the unfair sentence issued by Yemen’s Houthi militias to execute 30 political prisoners in Sanaa.

US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus tweeted that “the US is seriously concerned by the Iranian-backed Houthis’ sentencing of 30 political prisoners to death in Yemen”, including academics and political figures who were arrested on baseless charges and physically tortured during the arrest.

“We urge the Iranian-backed Houthis to retract these sentences, treat detainees humanely, and cease arbitrary detentions,” Ortagus said.

In Aden, the Supreme Judicial Council said the death sentence issued last week by a Houthi-run court against the 30 detainees is illegal.

The court has no mandate to issue or hold such trial as the council transferred its authority in April 2018 from Sanaa to Marib.

Further, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani criticized the death penalties.

“The 30 men – most of whom are academics, students and politicians - were sentenced to death on Tuesday,” said Shamdasani in a press release.

The UN Human Rights Office has received credible information suggesting that many of those convicted were subjected to arbitrary or unlawful detention, as well as torture and other ill-treatment in custody.

They were arrested in 2016 and charged in April 2017 with allegedly participating in an organized armed group, with the intention of carrying out criminal acts against the security personnel and popular committees affiliated with the Houthis.

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