By: Bushra Al-Hamedi

For what sin they were killed killed
  • 10/12/2023

    That was the question asked by “Om Mohammed Al-Hubaishi” in one of her speeches on TV while telling her story that reflects the bitterness of loss she went through on Thursday 19/3/2011 at the hands of the Houthi group. The Houthis did not care about her cries or pleas as she tried hard to save her children. furthermore, they mocked her and her pain buried under the ground.

    On Thursday evening 2011 at 5:30 pm, the old city of Saada turned into an area filled with screaming children, women wailing, and the smell of blood mixed with gunpowder after the Houthi group killed women, children and the elderly without justification. This group has mastered nothing but the arts of killing, even if it tries to hide it.

    On that day, the group was not satisfied with killing innocent people, but rather sought to mix the blood of the victims and gunpowder with the smell of house dust and scattered dirt. It began demolishing homes on the heads of their residents without deterrence or conscience, not discriminating between a child and a woman. Form the Houthis’ perspective, everyone is condemned and deserves to perish.

    The story did not end here, as the family of “Om Muhammad Al-Hubaishi” was facing a new chapter of the group’s crimes, which was hiding a different kind of fate for them. The group was not satisfied with this crime, which claimed the lives of innocent children and women, but rather bombed her two-story house located in Bab al-Yaman, Darb al-Mam neighborhood, Saada Governorate, where only women and children lived. They opened heavy fire from all directions from the windows and doors, and then planted mines in the corners of the house. Screaming and crying filled the house before it exploded. Once the house was blown up, the voices of the children disappeared before the women. Then the voices of the women faded before the men, as approximately eleven people were buried under the rubble, most of them women and children, except for Om Muhammad al-Hubaishi, the sole survivor, who was on the other side of the house that was not destroyed.

    It didn’t end there. After the house was blown up, the group began firing live bullets for fear that no one from this family, which was buried under the rubble, would survive.

    Night was approaching and fear was gripping the city from every direction. There was terror, eyes turned, and screaming calls were directed towards the collapsed house. They hoped that someone buried under the rubble would hear them or be saved. Everyone is shackled and forced to watch, and there was no room for rescue, as the Houthi group threatened to kill whoever approaches. The mother's screams are resounding as she begs the Houthi elements to save her loved ones, but alas, the Houthis group has lost its compassion for the mother, and its members have become overwhelmed with revenge against the innocent.

    Four days after the house was blown up and everything they had was taken, the group belatedly excavated the rubble of the dilapidated house and exhumed 11 bodies of women and children. They were taken to be buried in various places without the knowledge of their families, who wished to see even the ashes of their bodies. Yet, even this wish seems impossible when there is a group like the Houthi group that targets civilians and violates all international agreements and covenants and even the laws of war itself, a group that specializes in acts of killing, destruction, and bombing homes over the heads of their owners.

    Muhammad Al-Hubaishi, the owner of the house that was bombed, says “When my house was bombed, me and a group of people were surrounded by members of the Houthi group in the Cas Blanca Hotel, and I was wounded by a sniper’s bullet in my neck. We were unable to leave due to heavy gunfire at us. We tried to reach out to all government officials on that day, but they did not answer our call for help. After 5 days of siege, we were exhausted by hunger and thirst, so I contacted Hussein Khairan, the commander of the artillery brigade. I told him we were still besieged and he sent armored vehicles to protect government departments. Then we withdrew, and Hussein Khairan’s personnel entered as our replacement. We withdrew to the armored vehicles and were transferred to the artillery brigade. On the second day, I was transferred from Saada to Sana’a by helicopter. I arrived in Sanaa and was seriously injured in my neck. I was transferred from the airport to the military hospital, where I stayed for ten days.”

    His serious neck injury did not help him, as the group was striving to arrest him. Thus, he was forced to leave the military hospital in Sana’a Governorate, heading towards the city of Ibb. There, he met the remaining members of his family and work as a driver with a food merchant, as an attempt to make a living until the Houthi group entered the city of Ibb. They arrested Muhammad Al-Hubaishi, hid him and tortured him in Bin Laden Park. Then he was transferred to the National Security in Sana’a Governorate, where he stayed for nearly a full month. After that, he was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Prison in the Al-Zira’a neighborhood in Sana’a, to be forced to give up the blood of his children and his house, which was blown up over the heads of his children.

    Al-Hubaishi added, "The Houthis tried to force me to give up on the house bombing incident and appear on the Al Masirah TV and they would compensate me for everything however I wanted, but I refused categorically. I told them that I would never give up or sign. Killing me was easier and dearer than giving up a drop of the blood of a child who was buried alive.”

    After 7 months had passed since the arrest of “Muhammad Al-Hubaishi,” without his family knowing his whereabouts, “Muhammad” tried to contact his family to reassure them about him. He was staying in prison with important figures, one of whom, according to him, was “Sheikh Khalid Al-Ajda’. The two other sheikhs were: Sheikh Muhammad Al-Wadaei and Sheikh Abdullah Al-Wadaei, who asked one of their visitors to contact his family and inform them of his whereabouts.

    When the relatives of "Muhammad Al-Hubaishi" knew his whereabouts, the family gathered the sheikhs and notables of the region to go from Saada to Sana’a to meet those concerned with the arrest of “Muhammad Al-Hubaishi,” but they were rejected, so they went to Sheikh “Muhammad Abu Shawarib,” who took the initiative to bail Muhammad out to the Houthis and remove him with a guarantee and a commitment not to attack the group or incite it.

    "Muhammad" was released from prison where he was tortured. The Houthi group not only killed his children, blew up his house, and arrested him, but also made sure he became homeless for the rest of his life. They even tried to assassinate him more than once until they forced him to flee form Ibb to Marib, hopping to survive and find someone to bring him justice and restore his lost rights. However, he feels disappointed every time he begs the authorities of the law and justice. The bitterness of disappointment that still accompanies him today is stronger and more intense than the bitterness of grief over what he lost, as neither the state was present with him to recover his rights nor was the law fair to him.