A Houthi-run court in Yemen has sentenced 13 people to public execution on homosexuality charges, a judicial source said Tuesday, as human rights groups decried a rise in abuses by the Iran-backed rebels
The sentences were handed down in Ibb, a province controlled by the Houthis whose attacks on Red Sea shipping since November have prompted retaliatory strikes by the United States and Britain.
Three others were jailed on similar charges, according to the judicial source, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press
Another 35 people have been detained by Houthis in Ibb province on homosexuality charges, the source said
Videos shared with AFP, which could not be independently verified, showed a judge in a court reading out the death sentences on Sunday
It was not immediately clear when the executions were due to be carried out. The sentences are open to appeal.
Death sentences are not always carried out by the Houthis, who control Yemen's most populated areas and have been engaged in a long-running war with a Saudi-led coalition
A 2022 report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said the Houthis have sentenced 350 people to death since seizing the capital in 2014, and have executed 11 of them
NGOs say rights abuses have increased since the Houthis started their harassment of Red Sea shipping, avowedly in protest at the Israel-Hamas war[…]
The Houthis, from Yemen's mountainous north, belong to the Zaidi minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam
The hardline force, founded with the aim of pushing for a theocracy, emerged in the 1990s, rising up over alleged neglect of their region