Yemen rebels sentenced to death

Published October 20th, 2009 - 01:48 GMT

A court in Yemen sentenced ten members of a Shi'ite insurgency movement to death and five others to 15 years in prison on Tuesday for their 2008 participation in government clashes that left hundreds of people dead. The special court in Sanaa convicted the 15 Shi'ite Zaidi rebels of “associating with an armed group for criminal purposes,” “creating an organized terrorist group” and “(armed) resistance to the authorities.”

Following sentencing, the defendants reportedly chanted the Houthi slogan "God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam."

Tuesday’s sentencing comes amid continue clashes between government troops and Shi'ite  Zaidi rebels who reject the legitimacy of the ruling government and demand the restoration of the Zaidi imamate overthrown in a 1962 coup. This fighting has left thousands dead since 2004 and has seen a recent flair up.

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