Houthi Court Sentences 4 Activists to Prison for Criticism

Republican Yemen

A Houthi-controlled court in the rebel-held capital sentenced on Tuesday four media activists to prison over criticism of the Iran-backed Houthi group.

The four activists were convicted of inciting chaos, disrupting public peace, and insulting the Houthis, Associated Press reported, citing the convicts’ lawyer, Waddah Qutaish.

The activists, Ahmed Elaw, Mustafa al-Moumari, Ahmed Hajar, and Hamoud al-Mesbahi, were detained in Sana’a in December and January on charges of posting videos on social media lashing out the Houthi militia over corruption and their handling of economy.

According to Qutaish, the court sentenced Ahmed Elaw to three years, Mustafa al-Moumari to a year and a half, Ahmed Hajar a year, and Hamoud al-Mesbahi to six months in prison. It also ordered the closure of their YouTube channels and fined them each 10 million Yemeni riyals.

Qutaish said he would a peal, denouncing the verdict as “politically motivated.”

The Iran-aligned Houthi insurgents, who control most of northern Yemen, have been notorious for cracking down on whoever criticizes them in areas under their control.

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