A court run by Yemen’s Houthi militia has sentenced four journalists to death on Saturday for “treason” and espionage, a judicial official said.
The court in Houthi-held capital Sanaa “sentenced four journalists to death on charges of treason and spying for foreign states,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government slammed the ruling.
1.We strongly condemn the illegal death sentences by the so-called Specialized Criminal Court of Houthis Militia against 4 journalists (Abdelkhaleq Omran, Akram Al Walidi, Harith Hamid, &Tawfiq Al Mansouri) in a formal trial lacks min. standard of justice &integrity pic.twitter.com/9ecxapZMKU— معمر الإرياني (@ERYANIM) April 11, 2020
“We strongly condemn the illegal death sentences” in a trial lacking “min. standard of justice & integrity,” information minister Moammar al-Eryani wrote on Twitter.
He named the journalists as Abdelkhaleq Omran, Akram al-Walidi, Harith Hamid, and Tawfiq al-Mansouri.
“We call on international community, UNSG & journalists’ protection organizations to pressure Houthis to invalidate death sentences, release all detainees, namely journalists imprisoned in militia’s camps, &condemn use of judiciary to settle political rivalry with opponents,” al-Eryani added.
Ministry of Information &media institutions strongly condemns &denounces extrajudicial killings orders,issued by court controlled by Houthis militia against four journalists abducted &imprisoned by militia 5yrs ago.— معمر الإرياني (@ERYANIM) April 11, 2020
The Iran-backed Houthis seized Sanaa from government forces in 2014, prompting a military intervention by the Arab Coalition the following year.
The Arab Coalition declared a complete ceasefire in Yemen for two weeks which started midday on Thursday, as part of efforts to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, the Houthis responded to the ceasefire in Yemen with near daily artillery shelling of civilian neighborhoods in Hodeidah, according to Walid al-Qadimi, the province’s first deputy governor, as well as in other provinces.