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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat

Houthis Force Supporters to Visit Graves, Prove Loyalty

A Yemeni at a Houthi cemetery in Sanaa (AFP)

Houthi militias have forced loyalists and government officials to visit the graves of dead militants during Eid celebrations, including the tomb of the head of the Supreme Political Council, Saleh al-Sammad. who was killed in 2018 during a strike carried out by the coalition to support the legitimacy in Yemen.

Millions of Yemenis in areas under Houthi control continue to suffer from miserable living conditions.

The militias continue to pressure officials and residents in Sanaa to organize group visits to the graves of the dead, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The sources pointed out that the group's pressures resulted in organizing group visits by officials and residents in Sanaa over the past few days to some of the graves of the dead militants.

The militias seek to mislead and deceive the local and international public opinion that their dead are popular in Yemeni society.

The group also exploits religious and other sectarian occasions to attract more young recruits, school students, and relatives of the dead.

Meanwhile, sources close to Houthis in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the militia allocated sums of money to finance the daily visits to the graves through the so-called "General Authority for Martyrs Families Welfare."

Yemeni politicians in Sanaa said that the Houthi leaders spend lavish money and food aid on their supporters and provide care for the families of their dead through many entities that the group has established.

Residents of several neighborhoods in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the militia's supervisors recently forced them to leave their homes en masse to visit cemeteries.

Some residents said that the coup supervisors threatened "absentees" with blacklists, saying those who didn't attend the visits will be denied access to some aid and liquefied domestic gas (LNG).

The residents pointed out that the group's supervisors transported residents of some neighborhoods of different ages in Sanaa to the cemeteries on buses.

Bashir, a resident of the al-Nahda neighborhood, confirmed that the group targets new communities each day, forcing their residents to visit the graves of Sammad and another officials across the governorate.

Residents of various Sanaa neighborhoods complained to Asharq Al-Awsat earlier about the continued pressure and Houthi violations on forced mass visits to graves.

Several months ago, the militias forced senior officials and government employees under their control and the residents to visit the graves designated for their dead.

They also ordered school principals to organize field trips to visit the cemeteries.

Yemeni local sources stated earlier that the coup built over 100 new cemeteries for its dead in seven governorates under its control: Sanaa, Saada, al-Mahweet, al-Hodeidah, Raymah, Ibb, and Dhamar to be added to the already established 400 cemeteries.

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