Crimes and ViolationsReports

A report by UN Panel of Experts sheds light on grave violations committed by Houthis

Republican Yemen

A report by UN Panel of Experts on Yemen has revealed grave violations committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militia against women and children in Yemen as well as obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid in areas under their control, and enriching themselves by collecting illegal fees and confiscating assets and funds of their opponents.

The report, addressed to the President of the Security Council on January 25, 2022, shed light on Houthi practices of sexual violence against detained women.

“The Houthi policy of sexual violence and repression against politically active and professional women continued, including after the designation by the Security Council of Sultan Saleh Aida Aida Zabin (YEi.006) in February 2021,” the report said.

It added that the insurgents continued to use summer camps to spread their ideology in areas under their control and lure children into joining the battlefields.

“Summer camps and cultural courses targeting children and adults are part of the Houthis’ strategy to gain support for their ideology, encourage people to join the fighting and motivate troops.”

According to the report, the Houthis encourage hate speech and violence in their summer camps.

“The Panel investigated some summer camps in schools and a mosque used by the Houthis to disseminate their ideology among children, to encourage them to fight, to provide basic military training or to recruit them to fight,” the report added.

The report also confirmed that two women were “arrested and raped” for refusing to participate in their courses, noting that many people join such courses “out of fear of reprisals for non-participation.”

“The Panel also documented a case in which sexual violence was committed against a child who underwent military training. The Panel received information on 10 cases in which children were taken to fight on the pretext that they would be enrolled in cultural courses or in which they were taken from such courses to the battlefield. It also documented nine cases in which humanitarian assistance was provided or denied to families solely on the basis whether their children participated in fighting or to teachers on the basis of whether they taught the Houthi curriculum.”

The UN Panel of Experts accused the Houthis of using threats of violence and coercive regulatory practices to enrich themselves, including the collection of illegal fees and the confiscation of the assets and funds of individuals and entities.

The Panel said there was “evidence” of Houthis abusing, harassing, and obstructing a UN humanitarian organization to force it to serve their own interests.

“The abuse included physical violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, denial of visa or entry, expulsion of senior staff, restrictions on movement of personnel and supplies, and interference with activities and choice of service providers.”

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