A founding member of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, Hawk Newsome, said he is appalled by the lack of coverage of the Yemeni Houthis' crimes against Ethiopian immigrants in Sanaa in early March.
In an interview with the English-language Arab News, Newsome said he is shocked but not at all surprised that there has been such little outcry over the crimes, adding that he believes the response would have been entirely different had the victims been white.
"This is an issue that needs attention. This is something that can't be ignored. This is something I won't ignore. There are 44 people murdered and the news isn't paying attention," he said, adding "I have strong reason to believe that the news isn't paying attention because they're black people. It's my duty to fight for black people across the world."
Earlier this month, hundreds of African migrants detained in a camp in the Houthi-occupied Yemeni capital staged a hunger strike over maltreatment and poor conditions when Houthi armed militiamen set their accommodation on fire, killing 44 migrants and wounding hundreds of others.
Human Rights Watch quoted five witnesses as saying that the Houthi guards told the migrants to say their "final prayers" before firing tear gas into the hangar where the migrants were sheltered.
The resulting fire tore through the makeshift camp, killing scores and injuring many more.
According to the rights watchdog, the Houthis returned later to the hangar equipped with military-grade weapons. One of them then climbed onto the roof and launched two projectiles into the room.
The Yemeni government called on Sunday on the United Nations to openly condemn the Houthis' "racist" treatment of African refugees.
Advisor to the Yemeni President, Abdulmalik Al-Mikhlafi, said on Twitter that the Houthi militia's way of treating the African refugees is "an extension of their crimes and racism against the Yemenis."
"The United Nations and its organisations…. demanded to openly condemn the Houthi racist treatment of African refugees and their crimes against them, which is an extension of their crimes and their racism against the Yemenis," he said.