U.N. urges Yemen Houthi court to review 30 death sentences | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

23 September, Monday


U.N. urges Yemen Houthi court to review 30 death sentences

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Thirty men were sentenced to death by Houthi authorities in Yemen this week amid credible allegations that many were tortured during three years of politically-motivated detention, the U.N. human rights office said on Friday.

It urged the Appellate Court in the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa, which is due to review the ruling, to take into account the serious allegations and violations of their right to a fair trial and due process in the lower court, Reuters writes.

The specialized first instance criminal court handed down the death sentences on Tuesday, U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.

Most of the 30 men are academics, students and politicians "affiliated with the Islah party that has been critical of the Houthis", she told a news briefing. She was referring to an Islamist party that is part of the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

"At no point were they given a proper chance to present a defense," Shamdasani said.

Houthi officials did not respond immediately to a Reuters request for comment.

Amnesty International, in a statement this week, denounced what it called a "sham trial" where the 30 men faced "trump-up charges including espionage for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition".

Detainees include Youssef al-Bawab, a linguistics professor and political figure who was held in incommunicado detention amid allegations of torture and lack of access to legal counsel and medical care, the London-based group said.

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