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Houthis Ban Music and Singing in Weddings and Reportedly Imprison Artists

The Houthi militia forces in the ‘Amran Governorate of Yemen have been conducting a large-scale intimidation campaign against male and female artists to prevent them from performing or singing at venues and events.

Videos showing violent incursions by armed Houthi militants into venues and event halls as the men arrest and abruptly end the celebrations have been circulated on social media over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Yemen, the forces have abducted over 15 wedding hall owners so far. Purportedly, these people are being held in pretrial detention centers for over two months now – under the accusation that they are refusing to pledge not to allow artists to perform at their establishments.

Other reports claimed that about 40 civilians were kidnapped by Houthi authorities, including two women – all of whom are either artists or wedding hall custodians. Moreover, especially since a new governor named Nayef Abu Kharafshah was appointed to govern the northwestern governorate of ‘Amran, the Iranian-backed militia group has reportedly imprisoned several artists along with their musical and audio equipment.

Significantly, this very same Abu Kharafshah was documented attending an event that featured musical performances, leading an Arabic media anchor to comment, “What is halal to them is haram to all others.” In another response, Yemeni bloggers launched an online campaign titled “Why were they imprisoned?” in reference to the odd circumstances of the artists’ arrests. (JPost / VFI News)

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