More than 4,500 human rights violations were committed in less than a month by the Ansar Allah Movement, also known as the “Houthis,” in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, according to a new report.
The report, issued by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor , a nonprofit organization based in Geneva, documented activities on the ground in Sana’a during 16 September-10 October. Although Yemeni army units also committed violations, the Euro-Med Monitor team concluded that the Houthi militias committed the most flagrant atrocities.
The violations documented by Euro-Med Monitor totaled 4,531, most of which were concentrated in the northern and western areas. The incidents documented included storming of houses and institutions belonging to Houthi opponents, as well as raiding a number of Islah Party offices in retaliation for the alignment of some members with the army.
“There have been atrocities committed by all sides in this conflict. No one is without blame, including the Yemeni government and regular army,” said Bassam Saleh, Euro-Mid legal officer. “However, the escalation by the Houthis has far surpassed all other parties.”
Since the beginning of the armed invasion of Sana’a, 733 persons have been killed, including 652 in one week in clashes between Houthi militants and the regular army. In addition, an estimated 930 other people have been injured, although it is believed that many still are unaccounted for.
Among the deaths were three assassinations committed by militant Houthis against injured soldiers in the government hospital in Sana’a. Likewise, eyewitnesses reported that after taking control of the capital, the Houthi groups carried out an estimated 1,000 abductions of military and political leaders, social and tribal figures, human rights activists and journalists. Most of the abductees were transferred to prisons in Sana’a or in the Saada and Omran provinces.
Euro-Med Monitor also documented 50 attacks against public properties and institutions that still are either completely under Houthi occupation or are controlled by the group’s representatives who were installed in various ministries in return for removing the presence of armed militants. Likewise, the Euro-Med Monitor team documented 439 cases in which militant Houthis attacked and looted residents’ houses and other properties, damaging the buildings and stealing money, jewels, furniture, vehicles and personal weapons.
Journalists, nonprofit workers, teachers and health professionals were not immune. Euro-Med Monitor documented 66 violations against international and local media agencies during the first month of the Houthi takeover. The organization received complaints from 37 journalists and media officers who were subjected to physical abuse, shelling, robbery and imprisonment. Meanwhile, the investigation documented 22 violations against civil-society institutions, including an association for the disabled northwest of Sana’a, were reported; 33 attacks against political party offices, such as the headquarters of the Yemeni Socialist Party; 12 health facilities; and 37 private schools that were converted into barracks. As a result of the attacks between 16 September and 10 October, school was suspended for 10 days at some institutions.