Houthis kidnapped 70 Yemenis working for UN, foreign embassies—minister

Houthis kidnapped 70 Yemenis working for UN, foreign embassies—minister

YEMENIS working for international agencies and embassies have been the target of Houthis’ escalating crackdown on an alleged spy network connected to the United States and Israel.

Ahmed Arman, Yemen’s Minister of Legal Affairs and Human Rights, accused Houthis of abducting 70 Yemeni nationals, including 18 staff of the international agency.

According to the Yemeni minister, the militia group started their crackdown in May in which homes and offices of Yemenis working for the United Nations, the World Food Program, the UN Development Program, UNESCO, and other UN organizations were raided.

Houthi rebels also stormed the US-funded National Democratic Institute, as well as non-governmental organizations Partners Yemen, Resonate Yemen, and the German-funded GIZ.

Yemeni citizens including employees of public institutions were kidnapped during the raid.

Yemenis who served as former personnel at the U.S., Japan, and Dutch embassies were also targeted.

International rights groups and UN officials have asked the Houthis to release the workers and provide information on their whereabouts.

The Yemen-based militia group made the arrests after claiming to discover a spy network connected to the U.S. and Israel that was allegedly responsible for transferring important military intelligence to the two countries.

“Uncovering this cell is considered part of the victory over the parties who are aggressive to Yemen, namely the United States and Britain. Furthermore, the success of Yemeni intelligence is considered a defeat for American intelligence specifically, and at the same time, it has revealed many of the secret operations that the United States was conducting,” according to Fahmi Al-Yousfi, Deputy Minister of Information.

“We thank the security forces for this major step and this great achievement that has struck a blow to American intelligence. We are happy with this big achievement, which is a powerful blow, and alerts people to foreign intervention,” Mustafa Al-Shuaia, Sanaa resident said.

“What the security forces have done is commendable because they are breaking the hands of spies and the terrorism that the American embassy previously engaged in, and what the U.S. and Israel are doing today in Sanaa,” Balqis Ahmed, Sanaa resident said.

The Yemeni minister demanded the United Nations shut down its offices in Houthi-controlled regions such as the capital Sanaa and transfer its workers to the southern city of Aden to protect them from the militia’s widening crackdown.

 

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