Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran-Aligned Houthis Add Child Abduction to List of Violations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Jeddah- Yemen insurgents have officially removed the national anthem from schools in areas under their control. The national anthem was forcibly replaced with a sectarian ballad known by “Iranian Yelp,” in addition to the Houthi-led militias forcing school administrates to give hateful and bigoted speeches to children during the morning assembly.

Such events are a precedent to the Yemen crisis, spurred by militias looking to oust the constitutionally elected government—Iran-aligned Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists chiefly make up the insurgency forces.

The list of Houthi violations against the people of Yemen have risen to include the kidnap of children and their imprisonment, in a move aiming to reap compliance from the parents.

Human Rights activist Abed al Hafez Khtami told Asharq Al-Awsat that the words and terms Houthi militiamen force students to use is an attempt at brainwashing the youth through embedding ideological extremism and inclination towards exclusion and intolerance towards the other. The attempted indoctrination accuses neighboring countries of apostasy.

More so, the children are being taught that the government is an illegitimate entity.

Iran-backed Houthi militias focus on abducting the children of the academic elites, as to force them into the insurgency’s agenda. Many reports come in saying that instructors, religious scholars who object to endorse the insurgency are being arrested.

Khtami added that Houthi militiamen use children to drive nonconformist parents to turn in themselves. Fathers turning themselves in to militia are reportedly being served with brutal torture. The only way other than surrender, is that mediation secures a ransom offering of an impossible $4,000, especially that the annual income of Yemenis has recently averaged to an international low of $1,200.

The economy has been overly strained by the ongoing war.

Most captured children are 13-years-olds, not to mention the reported detention of women and elderly.