A man who raped and murdered a three-year-old girl was executed on Monday in front of hundreds of onlookers, witnesses said.
Thousands of people gathered in the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sana’a today to witness – and take photos of – the public execution of Mohammed al-Moghrabi.
Police said they escorted him to Tahrir Square where he was executed amid fears the angry crowd could lynch him.
The public execution was widely aired on Huthi-run media in Yemen, framed as an example of the Shiite rebels’ efforts to combat crime in their areas.
Security was tight amid fears of a revenge attack on Maghrabi by armed tribesmen related to his victim.
The police truck transporting Maghrabi to the square was escorted by five police patrol vehicles.
The man is forced to lie on the ground. Moments later he was shot dead as the crowd cheered.
The paedophile and murderer was blasted with an assault rifle at point-blank range.
Yahya al-Matari, the father of the girl, told reporters after the execution that he felt as if he had been reborn. “This is the first day in my life,” he said. “I am relieved now.”
The 41-year-old monster was sentenced to death for his sickening June 25 crimes by a court run by the Shiite Huthi rebels who control the city.
The gruesome crime coincided with the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and sparked anger among the population.
Moghrabi was first given 100 lashes and then made to lie flat, his face on the ground, and killed by multiple gunshots by security forces – to cheers from the crowd.
It is not known if the punishment was administered under sharia law, but the Huthis advocate a return to the early teachings of Islam guided by such teachings.
The Iran-backed Huthis have been locked in war with Yemen’s Saudi-backed internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for two years.
More than 8,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict, while nearly 2,000 have died of cholera since April.
The United Nations has described Yemen as “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world”, with 10 million civilians in acute need of life-saving aid as the country teeters on the edge of famine.