Riyadh – Houthi and Saleh coup militias in Yemen recruited over 4,960 children, mostly in the northern governorates, according to a recent rights report.
The Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Violations of Human Rights said in its second annual report that the country witnessed over 5,092 documented violation cases, including 4,882 arbitrary arrests and 210 cases of forcible disappearance.
The report pointed out that the cases have been dealt with directly by concerned teams, stressing that they do not represent the total number of actual violations against civilians, especially in areas ruled by militias. It added that many of the victims or their families do not report violations out of the fear of kidnap, arrest or revenge.
Sana’a had the highest number of violations at 693, while al-Baydaa district had 655, and Ebb was third with 539. Al-Hudayda had 506 cases of documented violations despite being a very poor district and under insurgents’ control.
The Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Violations of Human Rights urged condemnation of the Houthi and Saleh militias for their crimes, demanding that they be brought to trial.
The Coalition also appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to protect human rights and force Houthi and Saleh militias to commit to rights’ protection and end arbitrary arrests and forcible disappearances. It urged the international community to intervene to address this issue and to put abductions and torture at the top of its agenda for political discussions.
Militias have been torturing civilians in violation of International Humanitarian Law, added the report, citing 813 incidents of torture in 20 provinces in Yemen.
The report also pointed out that 2,737 civilians have been killed, including 531 children and 203 women, of which 1,910 were killed during Houthi and Saleh insurgency attacks on residential areas, direct sniping, assassinations, torture and by mines.
During the forum at the UN headquarters in Geneva held on the sidelines of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, executive coordinator of the Coalition Mutahar al-Bziji said that they recorded 288 cases where civilians were killed by mines, including 60 children and 16 women. In addition, the Coalition recorded 137 cases where civilians died under torture, including 12 journalists.
Activist Hamdan Al-Ali also addressed the suffering of families of kidnapping victims in Yemen. He said most of those affected and most vulnerable are women, children and the elderly, who are facing health, physical and psychological problems.
Families’ suffering is compounded by the difficult economic situation in Yemen, where many children are forced to leave school in order to work and support their relatives, Ali stressed.
Houthis also threaten families with torture of their children if they contact international or civil organizations for help, he added.