Yemen: Houthis kidnap 'own' man for being vocal against corruption as crackdown on influencers continues


Al-mukalla: In Yemen, Iran backed Houthis have kidnapped their own man as part of their crackdown on online influencers who are publicly condemning their corrupt practices which are allegedly leading the country towards a hunger crisis.

As per reports, Mohammed Salah Al-Houthi was kidnapped by the Houthis from his home in Sanaa’s Khawlan just days after he was heard on recordings criticising the militia’s leaders for enriching themselves while ignoring hunger and poverty.

According to Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Kumaim, a Yemeni military analyst, the Houthis arrested Al-Houthi at the weekend after besieging his residence in Dar Al-Sharef because he refused to give himself up.

The operation’s commander, Abdul Hamed Al-Houthi, Mohammed Salah’s cousin, was murdered in the ensuing shooting.
Al-Kumaim claimed that the Houthis only carried out the operation after obtaining a written promise from members of the surrounding tribes, branding Al-Houthi an outlaw for his criticism.

“We have made it clear for a while now that this movement will not put up with criticism. “They would put you in jail for saying, ‘I’m hungry,'” he claimed.

Al-Houthi is a government employee who rose to fame after appearing in many videos to announce his defection from the movement and criticise its mismanagement and failure to alleviate the suffering of the populace. Little else is known about him.

“I publicly declare my departure from this Nazi terrorist organisation. In one of the clips, he declared, “I am not proud to be in their company”.

“Children are starving to death, I’m telling you.” In another, he observed, “People rush to eat food from garbage cans”.

The Houthis have increased the arrests of rivals, including several social media influencers who have criticised the militia for not paying public employees and failing to combat corruption.

Recently, they had accused four online influencers of disseminating false material, inciting the public against the militia, and tarnishing the reputations of its commanders. Their cases were heard last week in Sanaa.

Since mid-December, the four YouTubers have been held on a number of times. They have millions of social media followers and were previously renowned for their support of the militia.

Must read: yemen: Houthis abduct youtubers who condemned ‘corrupt’ leaders

According to Al-Kumaim, the Houthis increased their attacks on influencers because they viewed them as a danger to their attempts to garner the support of millions of Yemenis.

He referred to the Yemeni YouTuber who was kidnapped by the Houthis as “these voices, such as Al-Mumari, first exposed to the public that they are a fraudulent gang of criminals, and second agitated the street against them.”

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Yemen: Houthis kidnap 'own' man for being vocal against corruption as crackdown on influencers continues
Yemen: Houthis kidnap 'own' man for being vocal against corruption as crackdown on influencers continues
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