A former Supreme Court judge kidnapped on Tuesday has been killed in Yemen's Houthi-run capital of Sanaa.
News of Mohammad Ahmad Hamran's death came days after a Houthi attack on Yemen's military in Taez which killed 10 members of its armed forces, despite a UN-brokered ceasefire deal which began in April and was renewed in August.
Yemen's Minister of Information Moammar Al Eryani condemned the kidnapping and subsequent killing of Hamran, accusing “the terrorist Houthi militia” of the killing.
Mr Al Eryani also said group had been promoting “strategic and inciteful rhetoric” against the judge, prompting his assassination.
“There have been a series of campaigns targeting other judges who have been also kidnapped and forcibly disappeared,” Mr Eryani said in statements carried by state news agency Saba.
“These incidents are an extension of the methodical targeting of the judicial system and its members who do not follow Houthi orders perfectly.”
The official Houthi-run news agency confirmed Hamran's death and said it had arrested those responsible for his “martyrdom”, in an apparent move to distance the Houthi movement from the crime.
A Facebook page belonging to Yemen's Judges Club, which describes itself as a civil rights organisation helping judges during the conflict, issued a statement of condolences for Hamran, calling his death the erasure of “what is left of freedoms, dignity and humanity”.
The group called for an “international investigation” into the murder, especially in light of “previous instances of harassment” against the victim.
Local reports have also pointed to the Houthi killing of former MP Abdullah Al Kabsi outside his home in Sanaa. The National was unable to verify the authenticity of the claims.
The Houthis took over the capital in 2014, and a Saudi-led coalition formed to restore the legitimate government has been at war with the armed group since 2015.