Yemen's Houthis defend detention of UN staff

Group said last week that it had uncovered an American-Israeli spy network in Yemen

08:44 - 18/06/2024 Tuesday
File Photo
File Photo

Yemen's Houthi group released a statement Monday defending its detention of UN staffers, accusing the international organization of a “lack of commitment to its charters.”

The statement was issued by Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the group's Supreme Political Council, which was published by the Houthi-run Saba news agency.

On Saturday, the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand condemned the Houthis' detention of 13 UN staff members in Yemen.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all UN personnel detained in Yemen by the de facto Houthi authorities.

Additionally, 40 countries urged the Houthis to release the detained UN employees “immediately and without conditions.”

“We have no position against UN organization employees, but we condemn the US for employing its spies under the guise of humanitarian and diplomatic work,” al-Houthi said.

“We are ready to hand over the evidence and documents to a third party that rejects the violation of countries' sovereignty with such espionage acts, and the US statements in this regard are a denial of evident facts, like denying the sun in broad daylight,” he added.

“We had previously invited China and Russia, and the invitation is still ongoing if they wish to present it (the evidence) to the UN Security Council.”

Al-Houthi demanded that the UN and its organizations “provide an explanation for these actions that we have repeatedly warned about with evidence, as they reflect a lack of commitment to their declared charters and regulations, which is another unjustified crime.”

The UN and US did not immediately comment on the Houthi statements.

Last week, the Houthis said they had “uncovered an American-Israeli espionage cell in official and unofficial institutions in Yemen.”

The group then aired a video of Yemenis it claimed were confessing to carrying out espionage activities in Yemen.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

#Mohammed Ali al-Houthi
#Spy network
1 month ago