Reports & News

Image Credit: REUTERS

Fri - 22 May 2020 - 03:32 AM ،،،


 Ending their Ramadan campaign of levies against merchants and stores, Houthi militias in Yemen launched a new extortion campaign targeting travelers looking to return to their home villages in different governorates.

Houthis have imposed a tax on travelers, especially those coming from Sanaa, to pass through to their villages and avoid the so-called health quarantine upheld by militants.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis are used to spending Eid al-Fitr, the religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan, in their hometowns.

Houthis are exploiting that fact and the current situation imposed by the coronavirus to collect funds for their war effort.

According to residents returning from Sanaa to their governorates, checkpoints were set by the Houthi militias at the entrances to the governorates and in various districts. At these checkpoints, travelers are detained and stacked in an area for alleged quarantine purposes.

Even if tested negative for coronavirus, travelers are not allowed to pass through the checkpoint unless they pay a tax of 10,000 Yemeni rials, a local bus driver told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Those who pay the fee can pass even before their test results are concluded, the bus driver added.

One of the travelers complained that a majority of those traveling are humble workers with daily wages, they barely could save the money needed to return home for the holiday and that they now need someone to lend them money to pass the Houthi checkpoints.