DUBAI: Houthi militia elements discriminate against Yemeni people who do not belong to their tribe, Saudi state TV Al-Ekhbariya has reported, quoting a statement from the Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations.
“The Houthi militia considers discrimination a part of its religious heritage,” the human rights group said, explaining that the Iran-backed group practices violence against other sects and religions.
The statement stressed that the Houthi militias have become a threat to coexistence and social peace in Yemen.
The Houthis forced the displacement of many Yemeni families from their homes, which have been racially motivated, the group claimed.
Earlier this week, the UK also expressed deep concern by reports that the Houthi authorities in Sanaa held a mass trial of members of Yemen’s Baha’i community. The Houthis tried 24 people, including eight women and a child, and charged them with sentences that could result in death.
The Baha’i community has been harassed for years but activists say their situation is becoming increasingly dangerous under the rule of the Iranian-backed militia.
The Baha’i faith is a small monotheistic religion which began in Iran in the 1800s.
“The persecution of members of the Baha’i community in areas of Yemen under Houthi control due to their religious beliefs is a serious violation of international human rights law,” Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said.
“New cases of arbitrary detention and continuing reports of the abuse of detainees by the Houthis are deeply concerning, and we wholly condemn this mistreatment,” he added.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they are working closely with partners to press for the release of detained individuals and called on their partners to take a strong stance on this matter during the Human Rights Council this week.