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Suicide...Yemenis Last Resort to Escape Houthi Oppression

Suicide...Yemenis Last Resort to Escape Houthi Oppression

Saturday, 22 February, 2020 - 12:30
Houthi Militiamen in Sanaa (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat

Abu Radwan's burdens have reached an intolerable degree because of the Houthi militias' constant abuse. He was evicted from his home, which is owned by the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) on the pretext that he had not renewed his contract, which pushed him to suicide. Now his wife and four sons are in danger of becoming homeless.

Abu Radwan and dozens of other Yemenis were driven to suicide by life's growing stresses, their poor living conditions, the suspension of salaries and the Houthi abuses.

In a similarly tragic incident, a grocer in Ibb committed suicide this past month due to the increased taxes imposed by Houthis, which was severed by his declining sales revenues. However, it is not only the youths who are choosing to end their lives; an elderly man hung himself in Ibb last month as well.

Suicide rates have been rising in Ibb, in which 15 cases were recorded last year.

Local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Sanaa saw the highest rate of suicide, followed by Ibb, Taiz, Hodeidah, Hajjah, Edema, and Al-Mahwit. 

Yemeni activists and human rights advocates blame the Houthis for the decline in living standards, as employment has become widespread, salaries have been withheld and corruption has become systemic.

Yemenis continue to suffer while Houthi leaders acquire more and more of money and properties. This, in addition to the Houthis’ repressive practices, are to blame for the rise in suicide rates, observers say. 

Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has become the worst worldwide in light of the food insecurity after the Houthi coup against the legitimate government which endangered citizens who are at imminent risk of starvation and poverty.

There are almost 1.2 million landowners in Yemen, owning an average of 1.36 hectares. A failed harvest would directly impact up to 7 million people and contribute to food shortages.

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