Mohammed Qabel is also the father of the late journalist Abdullah Qabel, who was killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike after being detained by the Houthis

Father of four sons in Houthi detention dies seeking their release

A hospital director in the central governorate of Dhamar has died of health complications exacerbated by a stint in Houthi detention while trying to free his sons from rebel captivity.

Mohammed Qabel, the finance director at Dhamar General Hospital, died of pneumonia shortly after being rushed to a hospital on Sunday, sources close to the Qabel family told Almasdar Online. 

Qabel had been detained and abused by the Houthis in mid-April while trying to persuade the de facto authorities in northwest Yemen to release three of his sons who had been arrested days earlier. 

During an April 15 raid in which Houthis arrested Qabel’s sons Abdulrahman, 28, Mohammed, 18 and Abdulrazzaq, 15, from their home, the rebels ransacked the house, taking laptops, cash, jewelry, phones and destroying furniture, the sources said.

On April 17, two top Houthi officials who used to work in Dhamar summoned Qabel to Sana’a to discuss the fate of his sons. Shortly after Qabel arrived to the capital to meet with Hammoud Obad, the secretary-general of Sana’a and a former governor of Dhamar, and Abdulmohsen Tawoos, the head of the Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and a former Houthi supervisor in Dhamar, he was arrested. 

After three days of detention and abuse, Qabel was released in poor condition. His chronic health issues, including diabetes and hypertension, had worsened, according to sources close to the family. 

A fourth son, Osama, 22,  was abducted from the streets of Dhamar the same day Qabel was released. 

Qabel is also the father of the late journalist and former Almasdar Online employee, Abdullah Qabel, who was detained by the Houthis in May 2015. Abdullah was being held inside a military building that was targeted by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes. He was killed in the bombing. 

In the years since Abdullah's detention and death in the coalition airstrike, the Houthis have repeatedly tried to detain Qabel. A relative said that the staff at Dhamar Hospital had intervened to prevent some of the arrest attempts. 


Editing by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs 



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