A deputy minister is involved in intense negotiations with the slain teacher's family and tribal elders to settle the case outside court

Houthi official shields influential loyalist from prosecution for allegedly murdering teacher

A senior Houthi official in Sana’a is trying to shield an influential merchant from prosecution for murdering a school teacher last month, according to an individual close to the family of the victim who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.

Mohammed Hussein Al-Maqdashi, who was recently appointed as deputy minister of social affairs and labor in the Houthi-run government, is involved in intense negotiations with elders in Raymah governorate, where the slain teacher is from, in an effort to convince the family to accept tribal reconciliation in order to settle the case, the source said. The alternative would be murder charges in the court system in Sana’a.

Murad Nasser Al-Faqih, the owner of a car dealership in Sana’a who is loyal to the Houthis, allegedly broke into Al-Kayan private school in December with other men and beat 42-year-old teacher Faisal Saad Al-Raimi to the brink of death in front of students and colleagues. Al-Raimi later died of injuries in the hospital.

Protesters organized vigils to demand the arrest of Al-Raimi’s killers, but the Houthi authorities have delayed the arrest of Al-Faqih despite repeated promises made by the group’s leadership to do so. Protesters and Al-Raimi’s family say that it sends the siganl that influential Houthi loyalists can commit crimes, even murder, with impunity. 

The Yemeni Teachers’ Union has voiced concerns about Houthi political encroachment into Sana’a-area schools, documenting more than 4,000 mandatory propaganda events in 2019 for teachers and students. Teachers who refused to participate in the events were threatened with dismissal from their positions, according to the union.



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