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AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s Houthi militia abducted an outspoken legal activist in Sanaa on Tuesday, only a day after beating a journalist for questioning a court decision in the same city, family members and activists in Sanaa said.

The two assaults are the latest in a string of Houthi attacks against independent activists, journalists, and media outlets in Yemeni areas under their control.

Three military vehicles carrying masked armed Houthis surrounded and stormed Judge Abdul Wahab Qatran’s house in Sanaa’s Al-Qaa neighborhood before detaining the judge and his children.

Qatran’s son Mohammed said in a video that the armed Houthis smashed the door and entered the house before wreaking havoc for hours, breaking furniture and scattering books and documents.

“They didn’t give us enough time to open the door for them. They handcuffed us and held us for hours inside an airless military vehicle with no food or water,” Mohammed recalled, adding that they were eventually released, while their father was kidnapped.

After being released, Mohammed said that he spotted Houthis with cameras photographing a vehicle carrying bottles of alcohol, believing that they would frame him for consuming wine.

“They said to us ‘Look! Your father enjoys wine.’ They brought several types of wine that I had never seen before,” he said.

The Sanaa-based Judges Club strongly criticized the Houthi raid on Qatran’s house, as well as the horror it caused his family, and urged that he be released immediately.

“We are very worried about Judge Qatran’s safety, and we want everyone to know that he is still being held by the Houthi Security and Intelligence Service in Sanaa,” the club said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday, three people believed to be associated with the Houthis assaulted Majili Al-Samadi, head of Voice of Yemen radio, outside his home and damaged his car’s windows.

Shortly after the attack, Al-Samadi uploaded photos of himself with bruises on his face and knees and vehicle windows that had been shattered. The incident happened only hours after Al-Samadi chastised a Houthi-run court in Sanaa for dismissing his request to open his private station.

Qatran severely denounced the Houthis for attacking journalist Al-Samadi in a post on Monday, accusing them of wanting to suppress anybody who opposes their rule or demands their rights.

“May God’s curse fall on the tyrannical, oppressive dictators who attacked you, seized your rights, radio, means of livelihood, and twice assaulted your safety and body,” Qatran wrote on the social networking site X, enraging Houthi loyalists who insulted and threatened to murder him.

Since April 2022, the Houthis have faced intense public pressure to restore services and pay public employees in areas under their control, after raking in billions of riyals in revenue from the influx of oil and goods ships that have entered Hodeidah port since the start of the UN-brokered truce.

The Houthis oppressively silenced prominent activists who expressed support for public wage demands, and they even kidnapped the head of the teachers’ union.

The militia shut down six radio stations, including Al-Samadi’s Voice of Yemen, in January 2022 after refusing to broadcast propaganda messages inciting the populace to join them on the battlefield.

On Aug. 23, outside his residence, Al-Samadi was savagely assaulted for the first time for criticizing the Houthis for shutting his radio station and failing to pay government wages.

The Houthis also shut down a music radio station in Sanaa last month for violating the militia’s restriction on airing songs or amusement programs in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

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