A Houthi-run court in Yemen has sentenced 13 people to executed, on charges relating to homosexuality, a judicial court confirmed this week.
The Houthi movement, officially known as Ansar Allah, is a Shia Islamist political and military organisation that emerged in Yemen during the 1990s. Houthi militants control vast swathes of the country, and the group’s recent attacks on Red Sea shipping has prompted retaliation from both the US and the UK.
The death sentences were handed down in Ibb, an area controlled by the Houthis rebels. According to reports in AFP, quoting an anonymous source, three others were jailed on similar charges and another 35 people were detained in the province, also for alleged homosexuality-related offences.
The court findings are open to appeal and it is not clear when any of the public executions are due to be carried out, but, according to a report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in 2022, the Houthis have sentenced 350 people to death – 11 of who have been executed – since they seized Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa in 2014.
“The Houthis are ramping up their abuses at home while the world is busy watching their attacks in the Red Sea,” Niku Jafarnia, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, told AFP.
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