AL-MUKALLA: Government officials and human rights activists in Yemen have accused Iran-backed Houthis of torturing and executing a prisoner of war a year after capturing him in the central province of Marib.

Muammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s minister of information, culture and tourism, said Houthi captors tortured Abdul Wahab Al-SHajjae, a Yemeni government soldier, and denied him lifesaving medication, which resulted in his death in prison, and that they refused to return his body to his family.

Al-Eryani tweeted: “During his detention the prisoner Abdul Wahab Al-SHajjae was exposed to the harshest kinds of physical and mental abuse and was denied access to medical care and the most fundamental rights.”

He said that last year the Ministry of Human Rights recorded that 350 inmates out of 1,635 tortured by Houthis had died.

He added: “Due to weak international stances on torture and systematic killing of prisoners and abductees, the Houthi militia practiced even more brutality and abuse and terrorized the community opposed to the militia’s coup.”

Al-SHajjae’s brother, Yemeni journalist Abdul Basit, mourned his death, saying on Wednesday that the family had been kept in the dark about his condition for a year.

He tweeted: “After a full year of waiting and hoping for his return, we learned this morning that my eldest brother, brother of the soul Abdul Wahab, had been martyred.”

The death of the POW has prompted calls for an international investigation into his death and for the acceleration of prisoner swap arrangements to free hundreds from Houthi detention.

“Rights Radar requests that the UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Abdul Wahab Al-SHajjae,” the organization said.

Houthis have abducted thousands of people since late 2014 from areas under their control, including Sanaa, and subjected them to various forms of mistreatment, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi has backed international efforts to end the war and renew the truce.

During a meeting with US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, in Riyadh, Al-Alimi said the presidential council and the government would support the envoy and other international mediators in their efforts to reach a comprehensive and long-term peace settlement to alleviate the suffering of people in Yemen.

A Yemeni government official told Arab News that the US envoy did not discuss any new proposals, but urged Al-Alimi to give mediators more time to persuade the Houthis to renew the truce, which expired on Oct. 2.