Houthis appoint controversial imam as minister in coup government

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Yemen's Houthi militias appointed Saturday Taha Mohammed Ahmed al-Motawakil, a controversial Imam, as minister for Public Health and Population in the Houthi coup government.

The decision which attracted wide criticism, was taken by the Mahdi al-Mashat, son-in-law of the Houthis' militia leader and head of the so-called Supreme Political Council of Houthis.

According to sources close to the Houthis, the Imam is married to the sister of Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and is considered a spiritual leader among the Houthis and an Imam at Housh Mosque in the capital Sanaa for a long time and has been preaching at other mosques after the Houthi coup.

He is also considered one of Houthis' extremists, issuing controversial statements among them, calling for “a state of economic emergency”, confiscating money from business men and nationalizing the private sector under Houthi control.

The controversial Houthi imam became known for inciting against vaccination campaigns for children, which prevented the World Health Organization from carrying out vaccinations in areas controlled by the militia.

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