Yemen YouTubers including Mustafa Al Mawmari tried by Houthis for inciting 'chaos'

Five YouTubers were detained last week after releasing videos critical of the group

Two more YouTube stars have not been since since their abduction in December. EPA
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Three Yemeni YouTubers appeared in a Houthi rebel court on Wednesday, charged with spreading misinformation and inciting “chaos”.

Mustafa Al Mumari, Ahmad Hajar and Ahmed Al Law were detained in Sanaa in December after they published videos critical of the Iran-backed rebels, who seized the capital in 2014.

The whereabouts of two others abducted by the group, Hamoud Al Mesbahi and Issa Al Outhari, are unknown.

The three YouTubers who appeared in court on Wednesday were charged with “spreading misinformation” and “harming public interest” as well as “inciting the masses to commit acts of chaos”, according to court documents seen by AFP.

Between them, they have more than three million followers.

It was not clear when a verdict would be issued.

Hajar, 43, was the first to be captured after he accused the Houthis of “robbing the Yemeni people”, in a video watched by half a million viewers.

One of Hajar's relatives confirmed his arrest to AFP and said that “he was kidnapped from the street on December 22".

Hajar's family visited him in detention and found him in “terrible shape”, the relative said, speaking on condition of anonymity over fear of reprisals.

“He was not himself,” the relative added.

Yemen's Minsiter of Information Moammar Al Eryani told The National on Monday that he condemned the abduction.

“Abducting Ahmed Hajar and his fellow YouTubers is a desperate attempt by the Iran-backed militia to silence those activists who struggle to give a voice for the ordinary people who have been dying of hunger in areas under the Houthi control,” he said.

Updated: January 11, 2023, 5:15 PM