American Center for Justice (ACJ) Condemns the Actions Taken by the Houthi Group against People of Al-Ara Village and Demands their Protection from Violations Committed by the Houthi Group

The American Center for Justice (ACJ) is monitoring the continued violations committed by the Houthi group for the past two weeks against the residents of the Al-Ara village in Hamdan District, northwest of the capital, Sana’a, which included attacks, shooting, campaigns of arbitrary arrests, raids, siege and road closures, chasing the people and forcing them to stay in their homes.

According to field information from the village of “Al-Ara”, the supporters of the Houthi group injured six of the people with live ammunition, during raids last week where various types of weapons and medium weapons were used to break up a peaceful sit-in protesting the attempt of one of the entities affiliated with the Houthi group, known as the “Shahid Foundation” to seize a plot of land in the village in order to turn it into a cemetery.

In August of last year, the Houthi group confiscated the plot of land of 66,000 square meters located in an area called “Al-Makhlaba” before the people obtained a court ruling on their entitlement to the land and the invalidity of the control of the so-called “Shahid Foundation” over it. Because the executive bodies are under the control of the Houthi group and thus refuse to implement the judicial ruling, the people demolished the fence that the group had built around the land with their own hands, and then sat in it to prevent its re-control, which angered the Houthi group and prompted it to carry out a number of violations against them.

The American Center for Justice (ACJ) confirmed that the Houthi group had established checkpoints at the entrances to the village, cordoned off it from all directions, deployed surveillance patrols there, imposed a curfew, and prevented the people from freedom of movement and mobility, or even overlooking from the roofs and windows of their homes.

(ACJ) believes that all the procedures and practices carried out by the Houthi group represent serious and grave violations of human rights, starting with the seizure of citizens’ property by force, and bullying them by force of influence and weapons, in addition to rejecting judicial rulings, which represents a drop in the principles of justice and a violation of the right to legal protection.

After that, the Houthi group continued its violations by endangering the lives and safety of peaceful civilians, through the use of live ammunition and depriving them of the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, freedom of movement and personal freedom.

The American Center for Justice (ACJ) condemns these actions collectively and views them as a blatant expression of the absence of the state, its replacement by group and factional power, and the deprivation of citizens from the protection of the state and its institutions. It also calls on all concerned parties inside and outside Yemen to stand seriously and responsibly in the face of such practices as they strip Yemenis of any protection and put them in an unfair confrontation with the authority of a group that does not respect their rights and evades any obligations on their part.

The Center calls for stopping these practices, reversing any measures, empowering the residents of Al-Ara village of their land, removing all armed manifestations from the village, and rehabilitating the villagers.

(ACJ) appeals to the international community, represented by its states and bodies to intervene urgently and put pressure on the Houthi group to stop these escalating violations before a disaster or humanitarian tragedy occurs in the village.

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