A Houthi-controlled court in rebel-held capital Sana’a sentenced four journalists to death on Saturday on charges of treason and espionage.
The convicted four journalists, Abdelkhaleq Omran, Akram al-Walidi, Harith Hamid, and Tawfiq al-Mansouri, were among ten journalists who had been accused of leaking information that the Arab coalition could use to bomb sites used for military purposes.
Abdel-Majeed Sabra, the defense lawyer, said the court convicted the other six journalists on similar charges, including “spreading false news and rumors” to aid the coalition, but ordered their release after time served.
Yemen Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani condemned the verdict and called the international community to step in and practice pressure on the Iran-backed Houthis.
“We strongly condemn the illegal death sentences” in a trial lacking “min. standard of justice & integrity,” information minister Moammar al-Eryani wrote on Twitter.
“We call on international community, UNSG & journalists’ protection organizations to pressure Houthis to invalidate death sentences, release all detainees, namely journalists imprisoned in militia’s camps, &condemn use of judiciary to settle political rivalry with opponents,” al-Eryani added.
Last year, a report revealed by Amnesty International indicated that there were 16 journalists in Houthi-run detentions who had been beaten, tortured and deprived of water.