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Houthis continue their oppression of street vendors in Yemen

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The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have continued their oppressive practices against street vendors in Sanaa by extorting them and imposing fees for their war effort, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Asharq Al-Awsat toured the streets of Sanaa where local sources revealed that Houthis, riding in bulldozers, destroyed a number of stalls and stores in the Sunaynah market on Sunday.

A number of vendors were arrested and their properties were looted, they added.

The Houthis also shut a number of stores for failing to pay their illegal fees to the militias, they said.

A vegetable vendor, Ahmed Hassan al-Atmi, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis carried out these attacks even though the locals had paid the fees imposed on them.

“What exactly do these militias want from us? Do they want to keep harassing us until we are forced to stop seeking to earn a living and instead join their ranks and head to the battlefronts?” he wondered.

“They are mistaken if they believe that we will abandon our lives and families to fight for them in a futile war,” he declared.

A few months ago, the Houthis had carried out a similar campaign of oppression against street vendors. They justified their assault at the time by claiming that the vendors were causing traffic on the street.

They had imposed fines of up to 10,000 rials (20 dollars) at the time. 

Atmi described the fine as hefty for the modest vendors, some of whom were forced to work street stalls because of the war.

One vendor, whose shoe store was destroyed on Sunday, tearfully spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat, saying that he has faith that God will avenge all those who have been oppressed and wronged by the militias.

The majority of Sanaa residents and people living in Houthi-controlled regions suffer from a stifling economic crisis caused by the militias’ failure to pay salaries and the unprecedented hike in prices of food goods and oil derivatives.

A UN report said that some 24 million people, or 80 percent of the population, needed some form of aid in 2019. Some 14.3 million among them were in desperate need of aid, a rise of 2 million compared to 2018.
Last Modified: Monday، 08 April 2019 01:37 PM
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