x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Yemen court sentences rebels to death

A Yemeni court has sentenced two Shiite rebels to death for taking part in gunbattles against security forces last year near the capital.

A Yemeni court has sentenced two Shiite rebels to death for taking part in gunbattles against security forces last year near the capital. Nine others were given between eight and 12 years in jail, while another rebel was released after spending time in prison for the same charges. The defendants were charged with participation in an armed gang and using weapons against the authorities. After the verdict was announced, they shouted "Death to America", "Death to Israel" and "Curse the Jews", all slogans used by Shiite Zaidi rebels who have been embroiled in battle with government forces in the rugged mountainous north for more than two months.

When the judge asked whether they would appeal, they said they would not do so because they do not accept the legitimacy of the court or the proceedings. In past months, the same court has sentenced 10 rebels to death for the same charges. Those convicted today are part of a group of 190 rebels who are being tried in batches over fighting that raged in Bani Hoshaish, northeast of the capital Sanaa, between March and June 2008.

Hundreds of people were killed and wounded in the clashes. More rebels are expected to be tried over the Bani Hoshaish clashes and about 40 others for alleged involvement in the current war with the army in the north, a judicial official said. *AFP