Top Stories Al-Houthi militias shed “Zeinabiyat” in Sanaa to target women’s chapels

Al-Houthi militias shed “Zeinabiyat” in Sanaa to target women’s chapels

The Houthi militias have not only systematically targeted places of worship and their male visitors, and deprived them, since the beginning of Ramadan, of performing religious rites in the cities under their control, but have recently expanded the extent of that arbitrariness to include women’s chapels in several neighborhoods in the occupied capital, Sana’a, and other areas under its control.

In this context, local sources in Sana’a reported to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthi women’s security brigades, whose affiliates are known as “Zeinabiyat”, have recently intensified their campaigns of repression and abuse against women’s chapels in order to convert them from places of prayer to another to attract and indoctrinate women. The ideas of the group imported from Iran.

Houthi female security forces, according to what the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat, raided the women’s chapels in the mosques of “Al-Fath” in Al-Sunaina neighborhood, “Al-Iman” in Al-Hasaba neighborhood, “Al-Rahma” in Al-Safia neighborhood, and “Al-Ansi” in Aser neighborhood, within the framework of a policy of intellectual mobilization with The sectarian nature that the group is trying to impose on the population in its areas of control, including forcing Yemeni women to embrace the ideas promoted by the militia leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, about the sanctity of the dynasty to which he belongs and their right to rule.

Witnesses in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the recent Houthi raids and closures came after the women of those neighborhoods, who wore the prayer halls, refrained from sitting after the end of prayers to listen to lectures that the militias, since the beginning of Ramadan, began to establish under the name of “Ramadan programs.”

Under the justification of women’s refusal to sit after Taraweeh to listen to Khomeinist ideas, the sources pointed out that a number of chapels within the districts of: Al-Thawra, Ma’in, Al-Wahda, Al-Sab’een and Bani Al-Harith in Sana’a have been closed since they were raided by supervisors supported by “Zeinabiyat” for women, especially after the failure of the group. Forcing the attendees to listen to the Houthi lessons.

As is the practice of the militias every year, since the beginning of Ramadan, the group has imposed the presence of Houthi leaders, accompanied by armed men, in many mosques in Sana’a in order to force women in the chapels to receive Houthi lectures and lessons, according to the same sources.

The sources confirmed that the Houthi women’s security brigades have continued for days to force women in chapels in the neighborhoods of Dars, Sawan, Beit Bos, Shu’ub, Haziz, Mazhab, Qaa al-Qaydi, Old Sana’a, Lower and Upper Asr in Sana’a to listen to lectures given by the militia leader.

In a related context, Yemeni women in several neighborhoods in Sana’a reported that they reluctantly sat in the chapels to listen to Houthi lectures after being threatened by supervisors to close the chapels if they left after the end of Tarawih, and not to wait for the start of what they call Ramadan programs.

Some women, who preferred not to publish their information, revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat a series of violations committed by the group against places of worship in Sana’a, some of which were accompanied by accusations and sectarian and racist expressions against Yemeni women.

They talked about the fact that the majority of women refuse to sit in the prayer rooms to listen to these programmes, but the group’s supervisors continue to pressure them to force them to wait after the end of Tarawih, according to allegations that the women’s stay to listen to lessons is one of the things that the leader of the group emphasized in the context of what he claims is an effort to “confirm.” The Faith Identity of Women.

On the second day of Ramadan, Houthi gunmen raided a prayer room for women in the Al-Rahma Mosque on Khawlan Street in Al-Safia District in Sana’a, and expelled the masses of women who came to perform Tarawih prayers.

At the time, eyewitnesses confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the group turned the chapel after its closure into a headquarters for the use of the narcotic plant “khat”, and organized meetings, events and evenings for its loyalists, accompanied at the same time by playing “Zawamil” (war songs) accompanied by dances.

Over the past years that followed the coup and the Houthi war, Yemeni women have paid a heavy price as a result of the violations and crimes committed by the militias against them.

According to some reports, over the past years, militias have committed thousands of violations and crimes against Yemeni women, including campaigns of forced conscription of women, forcibly subjecting them to intense sectarian and military courses, as well as committing heinous crimes against them such as kidnapping, deprivation of rights, torture, assault and sexual harassment.


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