IESCO Criticizes Houthi Looting of Yemen’s Historic Zabid Library

January 23, 2019

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IESCO) reprimanded and rebuked Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen for plundering manuscripts, historical as well as scientific books and relics from the historic library of Zabid.

The stolen items were valuable antiques of Zabid, which was Yemen’s capital during the 13th and 15th century.

The pilferage of such heritage amounts to a crime against the Yemeni civilizations and a breach of international proclamation and accord. This statement was made by ISESCO director general Abdulaziz bin Othaman Al-Twajairi.

One of the historic towns of Yemen is Zabid. The town is located in Hodeidah province, and since 1993, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Al-Twajairi requested the United Nations and other international organizations, chiefly UNESCO, to mediate in the matter and pressurize the Houthi rebels to return the stolen goods as they form a part of human cultural heritage for which The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the case of Armed Conflict bans all attacks against it.

According to the Yemeni and military sources, the pro-Iranian group not only pillaged books and archaeological manuscripts containing the history and civilization of the historic city, but the group also stole the power generator of the library.

The Houthi group has been looting huge quantities of Yemeni antiques from museums as well as from archaeological sites. According to the legal government, the Houthi militias have build networks in order smuggle period pieces and sell them in black market overseas.

According to the Yemeni watchdog, the group is attempting to obscure the historical identity of Yemen in expectation of setting up sectarianism obtained from Khomeini-inspired doctrines in Iran.

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