Houthi Court upholds prison term against a Yemeni actress
A Houthi-run court in Yemen affirmed a five-year sentence against an actress and one of her companions on Sunday for engaging in an indecent conduct and possessing drugs، according to her lawyer.
International rights organisations have strongly denounced the arrest of Entisar al-Hammadi and the three other women in February 2021 as well as the legal actions taken against them. The incident has served as a reflection of the pervasive Houthi persecution of women in areas they control.
Al-Hammadi and one of the ladies received their initial five-year sentences in November 2021. The sentences for the other two were one and three years، respectively.
According to lawyer Khalid al-Kamal، who represents all four women، the verdicts against al-Hammadi and Yousra al-Nashri، who was also given a five-year sentence، were affirmed by the Court of Appeals in the Houthi-controlled capital of Sanaa.
Al-Hammadi، who is also a model، was born to an Ethiopian mother and a Yemeni father. She has been a model for four years and appeared in two soap opera drama series in Yemen in 2020. She was the primary provider for her four-person household، which also included her father who is blind and a brother who is crippled.
Human Rights Watch has previously criticized the court proceedings as “marred with irregularities and abuse.” It said the Houthis confiscated al-Hammadi’s phone and “her modeling photos were treated like an act of indecency.”
Yemen has been convulsed by war since 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital of Sanaa.