Disappearance of senior Houthi operatives won’t close women abuse issue: Female activist

Disappearance of senior Houthi operatives won’t close women abuse issue: Female activist

A Yemeni female activist and former detainee in Houthi jails said the disappearance recently of senior Houthi operatives accused of arbitrary detention and horrific abuse of women in jails won’t meant the closure of the abuse issue since those abuses are blamed on the Houthis as a terrorist militia.

Sonia Saleh said in an interview with Alshari’ya TV channel said, “The crimes of Sultan Zaben [ the militia’s chief of Criminal Investigation Department] and Abdulhakim al-Kheiwani [the militia’s chief of  Security and Intelligence] and other Houthi leaders are not personal crimes, but a systematic policy against women … so the women abuse issue won’t be closed whether Zaben has really died or been disappeared by the militia” to get rid of the burden he represents now to the militia.

Sonia said she thinks that the Houthi militia have lately started getting rid of some senior members “to bury the evidences of their crimes” by “probably disappearing Zaben” and “most likely physically eliminating Ms. Afrah al-Harazi” who is the militia’s chief of the Women Jail in Sana’a where most abuses occur. She said the militia eliminated Zaben and Al-Harazi with a one day space between the dates of their announced “death”. The militia pronounced al-Harazi dead on Sunday 4 April and Zaben dead the following day. Sonia said the Houthis have eliminated many of their members “by putting poison” in their food.

This month has seen the Houthi declaration of several senior members dead with conflicting narratives from within the militia on the causes of their death ranging from coronavirus diseases to blood clots. Outside the Houthi movement, Yemeni analysts widely believe the Houthi militia is witnessing a violent infighting between Sana’a-based and Saada-based Houthi factions and fueled by the Iranian ‘ambassador’ in Sana’a.


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