The European Union Monday joined an outcry of international criticism over the execution of nine men by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen.
In a statement, the EU said it “strongly opposes the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity”.
The nine men were convicted of involvement in the killing of Houthi leader, Saleh al-Sammad in a 2018 airstrike. A Houthi court found the men guilty of spying and sharing sensitive information with the Saudi-led coalition. The men were executed on Saturday by firing squad.
Al-Sammad was the most senior official to be killed by the coalition in the conflict which began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the city of Sanaa which in turn prompted the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to intervene.
The United Nations Secretary-General also released a statement strongly condemning the executions. He stressed deep regret about the actions of the Houthi movement and his opposition to the death penalty and urgently called on all parties and authorities to adopt a moratorium on the carrying out of the death penalty.
The European Union urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to cooperate with the UN Group of Eminent Experts established by the UN Human Rights Council, and other relevant bodies and ensure due process, accountability, and justice for all in Yemen.