Yemen: The fight for the kidnapped sons | DW Documentary


In Yemen, more and more wives and mothers are turning against the Al-Huthi terrorist militia. These women are taking to the streets to agitate for the freedom of their sons and husbands – and risking their own lives in the process.

It is the day of her son’s wedding. Mariam and her family are awakened in the early morning by banging on the door. „I didn’t know at first who they were there for. They came driving up in 34 military vehicles.“ Mariam quickly puts on her dark burqa, before opening the door.

A few seconds later, the whole family is huddled on the kitchen floor. Surrounded by hooded Huthi rebels, who fire warning shots with their weapons. When Mariam‘s son resists, the men throw hand grenades into the house. The bride and many other family members are wounded, some seriously. „I threw myself protectively on my son. They grabbed me by the head and tore me away from him.“

Before dawn, both the son and two uncles are forcibly taken away by the Huthis. Months pass before Mariam is able to locate her badly abused son in a Huthi prison.

The al-Huthi terrorist militia has this part of Yemen firmly under control. Abductions, detentions and the torture of male family members are the order of the day. This film follows an underground organization of mothers and wives that began opposing the Huthis in 2016. It’s an honest and accessible snapshot of the war in the heart of the capital Sanaa.

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