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The Houthi Groups Abduction of more than 60 Girls is Disgraceful and Requires Urgent Action to Reveal their Fate and Release Them

  
  
  
    
23/07/2022

Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties stated that armed forces affiliated with the Houthi group kidnapped about 60 girls in less than a month in Hajjah Governorate and placed them in the central prison in the governorate without knowing other details. The organization stressed that this incident is disgraceful and unacceptable and violates the rules of protection guaranteed by international law to individuals in general and women in particular.

The organization said in a statement issued today, Friday, that it had received field reports confirming that since the beginning of July, the Houthi group had kidnapped dozens of girls from their homes, estimated at more than 60, after an armed campaign barbarically raided many homes without legal permission, which raised terror and anxiety among the families of those girls, taking into consideration that the abduction of girls continues to this day.

According to SAM's follow-up and the information obtained, several military pickups went to residential neighbourhoods in Hajjah governorate and took the girls before, during and after Eid al-Adha, which is an important religious occasion for Muslims around the world, without stating the reasons or presenting any judicial order to arrest any of the girls who were arrested.

the director of the Human Rights Office in the province, "Hadi Wardan," stated that the city of Hajjah witnessed during the past few days, "a campaign of raids on several houses and homes." He added in a post on his Facebook page, saying, "Dozens of girls were kidnapped by the Houthi militia without any legal reason or justification, and they were placed in separate prisons, including Al-Nusairiyah Central Prison on the outskirts of the city while some of them were detained in police stations under the control of the militia in the city and other secret detention centers."

The organization mentioned that the Houthi group is using the charge of "prostitution" as a way to justify the crime of kidnapping girls and to intimidate society from defending them. However, the local sources categorically denied these allegations to “SAM”, and said that this matter was unacceptable and contradicted the reality, expressing their condemnation of the soldiers’ treatment of the girls, which was a direct assault. These soldiers did not take into account their special nature, which constitutes a crime that requires punishment.

One of the private sources added to "SAM" in his testimony, “A group of soldiers arrested the girls without justification. At the head of those people was a person named "Madwamy" from Saada governorate, one of the supervisors of the Houthi group in Hajjah governorate, and "Mohamed Saghir Sebla", director of the city's security, along with "Hisham Wahban," stressing that "the efforts of the parents and families will continue until all the names that carried out such disgraceful behaviour are revealed and all the girls are released."

"SAM" confirms that the kidnapping incident violated many legal texts and rules that criminalized arbitrary arrest and threatening the freedom and safety of people without legal permission or a judicial decision, emphasizing that what happened with the girls is a full-fledged kidnapping crime that does not take into account the legal controls required by law when arresting the accused or suspects.

The human rights organization stressed that the Houthi group treated these girls in a brutal manner that does not take into account the protection and special care guaranteed by law. SAM also emphasized that what happened with the girls is a compound and unforgivable attack, which requires urgent action by all international and UN parties to put an end to the persistence of the armed Houthi militia.

SAM concluded the statement by calling on the Houthi group to release the girls immediately and without conditions, stressing the importance of providing sufficient information about the incident and the people involved in it by the authorities supervising the area where the kidnapping occurred, and working to bring them to a fair trial for their unjustified and serious violation of a number of rules and conventions of international law.

The organization also confirms that the recurrence of such incidents contradicts what many parties declare regarding their commitment to international law, especially the Houthi group, as there are continuous violations recorded in all their areas of control, which requires international pressure to stop their practices against Yemeni civilians.