Two men who were accused of raping and killing a child were publicly executed in Yemen, according to photos published by Reuters.
Wadah Refat, 28, and Mohamed Khaled, 31, were both held down and shot in front of a crowd of onlookers in the port city of Aden. They were accused of raping and killing a boy, Mohamed Saad, last year.
The child had been playing next to a house where one of the men had lived. The two then grabbed him, took him into the home, before the crimes were committed.
“After the rape, they could not silence the cries of the child, who begged for help, so one of them grabbed a knife and [cut] his throat,” court documents stated, reported El Mundo.
Meanwhile, a 33-year-old woman was sentenced for her involvement in the boy’s death, reported the Daily Mail, which carried the Reuters photos. The woman is set to be executed, but it was postponed because she is pregnant.
Regarding the public execution, “I have witnessed public executions and the [Yemeni] people enjoy it, shouting ‘justice, justice,'” Yemeni journalist Ahmad al Gohbary told El Mundo.
Yemen: The execution of the death sentence against the Mujaasbi and killers of the child Mohamed Baroudi and the carry out of the sentence in a public place, Aden.07-02-2019 pic.twitter.com/KSKSQ2XoJm
— Rowan Van Dijk (@Lastkombo) February 8, 2019
Human rights organizations have stated that public executions in Yemen are a “grotesque violation of human rights.”
Human Rights Watch director Sarah Leah Whitson said in condemning the executions: “Public execution is an even more grotesque violation of human rights, particularly in a country where the ability of the accused to obtain adequate legal representation and the coverage of the process is highly limited.”
Reuters in December 2017 reported that a man was publicly executed in the capital, Sanaa, for assaulting and killing a child.
A policeman fired five bullets from an assault rifle into Muhammad al-Maghrabi, 41, as he lay with his hands handcuffed behind his back on a blanket on the ground in Sanaa’s Tahrir Square, after a judge read out the death sentence, Reuters reported at the time.
Like the men who were executed in Aden this week, Maghrabi was killed by executioners armed with assault rifles.
Yemen’s Saba News Agency said at the time that Maghrabi’s execution was “performed in a public place in Tahrir Square in central Sanaa where thousands of people witnessed the event.”
War in Yemen
Talks on a U.N.-sponsored prisoner swap in Yemen’s war could drag on for months if the Saudi-backed government denies the existence of thousands of Houthi fighters in captivity, the Iranian-aligned Houthis said on Feb. 7, according to Reuters.
In two rounds of talks in the Jordanian capital Amman, the warring parties have been hammering out details of the prisoner exchange they agreed last December as a confidence-building gesture at the first major peace talks of the nearly four-year-old war.
The four-year conflicted has left nearly 16 million people facing severe hunger.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been battling the Houthis to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government—want to exit a costly war that has dragged on for nearly four years. They have endorsed the U.N. push to reach a peace deal.
Reuters contributed to this report.