Houthi Crimes against Yemeni Women and the silence of Mainstream Media


by Khaled Hamoud Alshareef

Audio Piece

Yemeni women face ‘unprecedented’ and horrifying pattern of abuse in Houthi areas…

While western news outlets cover news about the Saudi-led coalition, the terror Yemeni women face under Houthi role is ignored, and neglected by the politically motivated western mainstream media.

Houthi crimes against Yemeni women include murder, maiming, humiliation, rape, sexual abuse and torture, yet the mainstream media won’t tell you that.

Houthi rebels have killed hundreds of women since the start of Yemen’s civil war, the country’s human rights minister said in 2018. Yemeni SABA news agency cited, Mohammed Askar, as saying that the Houthi militia killed 814 women and injured 4,179 between 2014 to 2018.

Although Yemeni officials and human rights advocates, spoke about these crimes in the western media. They ignore those horrifying accounts that detail the survivors’ stories, and their justice remain on hold because of the double standard view the west about the Yemeni conflict.

In 2020, the UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Yemen, identified a Houthi network, involved in the repression of women who oppose Houthis, through intimidation and sexual violence.

In its report addressed to the President of the Security Council, the Panel documented a set of violations committed by Houthis , which included arbitrary arrest, detention of women, looting, sexual assault, beating, torture, and facilitation of rape in secret detention centers.

According to the report, Houthi women constitute an intelligence agency. Among their tasks are searching women and homes, teaching the militias’ ideology and maintaining order in women’s prisons.

The report documented, an increased repression against women. It reported, the detention of 11 women, who were beaten, tortured, and sexually assaulted due to their political affiliations, or their participation in political activities or public protests.

Women were threatened with being charged with prostitution, or with organized crime if they continue acting against Houthis. Some were brutalized and raped, and some didn’t survive to their stories.

The Security Council Resolution 2467 (2019), which confirmed the increasing repression of women who express political opinions, or participate in demonstrations and stressed that, this affects their ability to participate in conflict resolution efforts and decision-making processes

Houthi’s crimes were documented, through the testimonies from several humanitarian actors on the militias’ intentional rejection of NGO projects related to women, peace and security or women’s empowerment. Yet the western mainstream media still ignored the voices of the victims .

Among the many victims are cases of women who were arrested and detained for reasons related to their humanitarian work and providing food and medicine to the people.

Sadly prominent NGO’S like Human Rights Watch documented numerous incidents of parties to the conflict using schools for military purposes, yet they ignored or turned a blind eye to the horrors women face under Houthi rule.

This is inexcusable but expected from these NGO’S that Yemeni women face ‘unprecedented’ and horrifying pattern of abuse in Houthi areas, activists and experts say yet the mainstream media and western politicians turn a blind eye to these crimes, can you tell these victims why they don’t deserve justice?

Khaled Homoud Alshareef holds PhD in Business and he earned Masters in Philosophy. He often writes about Islamism, Islamist factions and modern Terrorism. He tweets under @0khalodi0.

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