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EU joins outcry over execution of nine men by Yemen’s Houthis By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A man convicted in 2018 of the killing of Saleh al-Samad is being prepared by policemen to be executed in Sanaa’s Tahrir Square on September 18th, 2021. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo


ADEN (Reuters) – The European Union joined a chorus of international criticism on Monday over the execution of nine men by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen following their conviction for involvement in the killing of the group’s top civilian leader.

Saleh al-Samad held the position of president in Houthi-controlled northern Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition strike hit Hodeidah (on Yemen’s west coast) in April 2018.

Nine men including a minor were arrested by the Houthi court and found guilty of spying for the Saudi-led Coalition. The firing squad executed them on Saturday.

Social media users shared many photos and videos that showed the executions. They included footage of military officers firing on the men at the back, in Sanaa’s central square.

An EU spokesperson condemned the executions and said that reports had been made of irregularities in the legal process as well as allegations of abuse.

The European Union strongly rejects the death penalty in any circumstances and at all times. This is an inhumane and cruel punishment …,”, the statement said.

A similar statement was issued by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier. He also demanded a moratorium of execution in Yemen and a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

American embassy in Yemen denounced what it described as a “sham trial” after years of torture and abuse by Houthis. Britain said the executions demonstrated “indifference to human dignity & blatant disregard for fair trial & due process”.

Houthi foreign ministry denied the accusations as interference in domestic affairs and charged the United Nations and West with turning their backs on the “coalition’s crimes.”

Samad was the most senior official to be killed by the coalition in the years-long war in which the Houthis are fighting forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government based in the southern port city of Aden.

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