Yemen’s Houthis arrest journalists, activists in Sanaa

Local journalist and five activists have been detained by gunmen from Yemen’s Houthi militia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Houthis ride on the back of a patrol truck in Yemen's capital Sanaa on January 26, 2016.

Yemen's Houthi militants detained a local journalist and five activists after a raid on an apartment in the country's capital Sanaa on Saturday, activists said, the latest detention of a reporter in the war-ravaged country.

The gunmen stormed the apartment at dawn and took journalist Nabil al Sharabi and the activists to an unknown location. The Houthis had fired guns when the men attempted to escape, activists said.

Human Rights Watch says that the Houthis have detained numerous political opposition figures, activists, and journalists.

Forces loyal to Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi are battling the Houthis and loyalists of the country's former leader in a war that has killed about 6,000 people.

Sharabi, the detained journalist, had worked for local daily Akhbar al Youm, which the Houthis closed down after taking control of Sanaa in 2014.

As a result of Houthi aggression, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi had to temporarily flee to the Saudi capital of Riyadh and formally request help from Arab states to "save Yemen" from the Houthi militants.

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate says that the Houthis have been holding 12 other journalists for several months after accusing them of acting against the movement and of supporting Hadi's government.

Hadi has managed to re-base in Aden, Yemen's second-largest city, where his government is trying to project authority after its loyalists, backed by Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab forces, seized it back from Houthi forces in July.

Last week unidentified gunmen abducted and later released two journalists and a driver working for a Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Arabic TV channel in the southwestern city of Taiz.


TRTWorld, Reuters