A court sentenced two Yemeni men to death on Tuesday after convicting them of spying for Iran.
Abdel Karim Ali and Hani Ali were found guilty of providing Iran information and documents related to the Yemeni military and the country's president between 1997 and 2008. A third Yemeni man was acquitted in the case.
The defendants' lawyer, Shaza Nasser, said she has appealed the verdict. Abdel Karim Ali, speaking in the courtroom Tuesday, described the verdict as "politicized." He said the charges were not related to Iran but instead his affiliation to northern rebels that have been fighting the government intermittently since 2004.
The rebels claim the government is corrupt and too closely allied to the West. Thousands have been killed in the rebellion.