Middle East

Yemen Houthi court condemns 30 to death for spying

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A court run by Yemens Houthi militias on Tuesday sentenced 30 academics, trade unionists, and preachers to death for allegedly spying for the Arab Coalition, a judicial source said.

The men, among 36 defendants tried by the criminal court in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, have been in custody for at least the past year, the source told AFP.

“The criminal court today (Tuesday) issued a verdict condemning 30 people to death on charges of spying for the aggression countries,” the source said, adding that the other six were acquitted.

He said the men were convicted of supplying the coalition with information on locations for airstrikes.

Amnesty International condemned the verdicts, saying they had targeted “political opposition figures” in “sham trials”.

Among those condemned to death was Yussef al-Bawab, a 45-year-old father of five and linguistics professor, who had been “arbitrarily arrested in late 2016”, it said in a statement.

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“Since the Houthi de facto authorities assumed control of the justice system in 2015, they have progressively utilized the Sanaa-based SCC (Specialised Criminal Court) to target persons they deem to be opponents or even just critics,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnestys Middle East research director.

The military coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015, a few months after the Iran-aligned Shiite Houthis captured Sanaa.

The coalition backs the internationally-recognized government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Since the Houthis took control of the capital in September 2014, their courts have issued several death sentences for spying.

In May last year, a Sanaa court sentenced two men to death for spying for Riyadh, while in January, the same court condemned to death 22-Read More – Source

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