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Yemen: Rights group says 35 girls kidnapped in Sanaa

December 16, 2019 at 11:17 am

Civilians, who fled from the ongoing civil war where numerous civilian killed, are seen during their daily lives despite many difficulties at Al-Raqah refugee camp in Amran province of northern Sanaa, Yemen on 24 November 2019. [ Mohammed Hamoud – Anadolu Agency ]

A human rights organisation announced yesterday that it had documented the kidnapping of more than 35 girls in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, which has been under the control of the Houthi movement since the end of 2014.

The incident was reported in a statement by the Yemeni Rights Radar for Human Rights which said “the phenomenon of kidnapping girls, students and women in Sanaa and the areas controlled by the Houthis, has escalated in an unprecedented way.”

The organisation added that “according to eyewitnesses, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, more than 35 girls and students were kidnapped from the schools and the streets of Sanaa during the past short period.”

On the motives behind the kidnapping, the organisation asserted that “some girls were kidnapped to put pressure on their families, while some were kidnapped, perhaps as a result of false and malicious reports, while others were abducted for other, yet unknown, reasons”.

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The organisation highlighted that the kidnapped girls’ location is still unknown, according to the same sources.

It pointed out that “armed elements affiliated to the Houthi group in Sanaa raided a language institute in the central district of Haddah on 9 December 2019 and kidnapped women working there.”

Calling on the Houthis to open an urgent investigation into these crimes and violations to identify and prosecute the perpetrators, it said such incidents “set a dangerous precedent”.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis on the report.