Gunmen loyal to Houthi militias and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday assaulted a group of mothers protesting against the detention of their sons in the capital Sana’a.
The mothers organised a sit in in front of the office of UN commission in Sana’a, which the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is currently visiting, in protest against the Houthi and Saleh forces who they say have detained their sons. The mothers demanded the immediate release of their sons, some of whom have been detained for over two years. They also demanded that the UN envoy intervene to free the men.
The gunmen disbanded the protest by force and began to assault the women, both physically and verbally. Some were threatened by the gunmen that they would be beaten if they did not disperse.
Civilians have been routinely subjected to detention and disappearance since the Houthi coup of Sana’a in September 2014. Journalists, activists, academics and citizens that display signs of dissent are subject to being detained by Houthi and pro-Saleh forces. Yemen has been locked in a bitter battle between Shia Houthi fighters allied with forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, along with local tribes and resistance forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes.