Houthis Vanish Hundreds of UN and NGO Employees Amid a Crackdown by Civil Society

Houthis Vanish Hundreds of UN and NGO Employees Amid a Crackdown by Civil Society

Human Rights Watch declared on Wednesday that the Houthi authorities in Yemen need to free the hundreds of individuals who have been detained and kidnapped since May.

As part of a larger campaign against civil society, HRW alleged in a study that the Houthis have forcefully disappeared Yemenis in area they control, including at least 13 UN employees.

HRW continued, “It appears that the arbitrary arrests are based on the detainees’ past or current employment.”

Starting on May 31, Houthi soldiers raided residences and offices and arrested staff members of various NGOs. As of June 12, around sixty persons have been arrested, according to one source.

The residences of the people the Houthi troops were trying to apprehend were all unexpectedly visited by multiple armored vehicles and an average of between ten and thirty armed men, according to HRW.

“Militant clothing and head and face coverings, sometimes revealing just their eyes, were worn by almost all forces. Many times, families were still asleep when the armed forces arrived early in the morning.

In none of the cases were search or arrest warrants presented, and family members’ demands for the location of their kin have been turned down by Houthi forces. None of the detainees had formal charges pending against them.

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