Al Arabiya News Channel aired on Saturday a documentary showing how the Iran-backed Houthi militia group has a lobbyist network inside the United Nations.
Some of the NGOs and individuals, who were not Yemeni or Yemen-based, are also seen as pro-Iran.
Here names of some of the preeminent players:
- Ambassador Abdul Illah Hajar, a member of the Houthi delegation, who participated in Yemen’s peace talks. At the peace talks, Hajar introduced himself as a representative of the Yemeni Foreign Ministry branch dealing with International Organizational Affairs.
- Ahmed al-Shami, Executive Director of Arabia Human Right Watch Association (ARWA).
- Mohammed al-Wazir, ARWA’s founder and director of its legal affairs.
- Yousra al-Harazy, who lives in Geneva. She is in charge of organizing ARWA’s motions, and participates in the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions.
On April 28, ARWA submitted a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of 34 Yemeni NGOs, accusing the Arab Coalition of committing war crimes and genocide. ARWA claimed compensation worth billions of dollars.
- The Houthis lobby also comprises the SABA organization in Yemen, headed by journalist Ahmed al-Muaid.
- NGOs from other countries
The list include NGOs in other countries such as the Iraqi Development Organization, the Sunni Scholars Association in southern Iraq headed by Sheikh Khaled al-Mullah, in addition to the Lebanon-based al-Khiam Rehabilitation Center (KRC) for Victims of Torture, which was founded in June 1999, and granted advisory membership of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2010.
Despite KRC’s presentation of itself as an NGO, its Secretary General Mohamed Safa stated back in 2008 that the center was indeed a partner in the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah’s victory in the south of the country.
In February 2016, KRC announced embracing the case of opposition Sheikh Ali Salman, leader of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in Bahrain.
The documentary shows how the Houthis were blamed by Kate Gilmore, the Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, on Sept. 27 for the siege imposed on the city of Taiz, blocking food, water and creating fuel shortages.
The Houthis, simultaneously, held a conference on the sidelines, while Gilmore was presenting her findings, to diffuse and deflect attention.
They spent their time discussing human rights conditions in the countries participating in the Arab Coalition, accusing them of collaborating with Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
The Houthis were also able to garner support from similar pressure groups in Europe and the United States.