Houthi militia abducts former Yemeni minister of culture from his home, son says

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The Iran-backed Houthi militia kidnapped Yemen’s former Minister of Culture Khaled al-Ruwaishan from his home in the capital city of Sanaa, according to statements made by his son and the information minister of the UN-recognized government.
Al-Ruwaishan, who is also a prominent writer and poet, was detained after sunrise, his son Waddah al-Ruwaishan said in a Facebook post.

The culture minister has been a strong critic of the Houthis and has written extensively against the group, who have been fighting against the UN-recognized government and the Arab Coalition for control of the country since 2015.


Days before his kidnapping, the Houthis, who control the capital city, had launched a massive media campaign against al-Ruwaishan to denounce his statements against the group.

“We strongly condemn [the] abduction of writer, poet, & great national figure, Mr. Khaled Al-Ruwaishan, ex Minister of Culture & member of Shura Council, today by mercenaries of Iran; Houthis militia, in [a] savage manner that reflects the meanness of this gang & lack of values and morals,” information minister Moammar al-Eryani said on his official twitter account.

”The abduction of al-Ruwaishan, is [a] continuation of 1000s [of] arrests of political & social figures, media, journalists, & activists. [It] reflects criminal mentality of [the] Houthis & [their] disregard of [people’s] lives, lack of acceptance of others, & rejection of any opposing voice & human rights in its areas,” al-Eryani added.

He called on the international community and the United Nations to condemn the crime and urge the group to release all those who have been imprisoned.

The Yemeni government has repeatedly called for an exchange of prisoners with the Houthis to prevent the deadly coronavirus from spreading in prisons.

The Arab Coalition had earlier this month declared a two-week ceasefire in Yemen since the conflicts have left the country increasingly vulnerable to the outbreak.

Yemen has confirmed one case of the virus so far.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

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