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Houthi court sentences 11 Yemenis to death, including two women and a professor

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A Houthi court in the Yemeni capital Sanaa has sentenced 11 Yemenis to death on Saturday, including two women and a professor of international law at Sanaa University, on charges of aiding what the Iran-backed militia described as “the enemy” and “communicating with a hostile foreign country.”

Abdulbaset Ghazi, the head of a rights groups defending Yemeni detainees said that the Specialized Criminal Court, which is under the control of the Iran-backed Houthis, had sentenced two women, a professor of international law, and eight others to death on charges of “aiding the enemy and communicating with a hostile foreign country.”

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The Houthis accused them of working within a cell linked to Ammar Afash, a former head of the Yemeni National Security Agency and the nephew of the late President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The ruling passed on Saturday also ordered the confiscation of the funds belonging to one of the defendants, Mohammed al-Maliki, and transferring it to the state treasury controlled by the Houthis in Sanaa.

Ghazi said that a non-judicial authority pressured some of the defendants to withdraw their lawyers' powers of attorney provided that they be released with a presidential pardon at a later time. After they had withdrawn their lawyers from their cases, they had received the harsher death sentence, according to the rights group.

“This is a deliberate waste of defense rights by the security services,” Ghazi said.

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