500 ARAB AFGHANS ARRESTED [Archives:2001/46/Front Page]

November 12 2001

Yemen Times learned from reliable tribal sources that around 500 men suspected of being active members of Islamic fundamentalist movements have been arrested by security forces during the last week. The suspected arrested activists were mainly residents of the cities of Taiz, Aden and the capital Sana’a.
According to the sources, most of those arrested were Arab-Afghans who came back from Afghanistan.
On another level, a declaration was sent to a number of newspapers, including Yemen Times, from a number of tribal sheikhs from the eastern governorates of Yemen, namely Mareb, Jowf, and Shabwa governorates, where there are many tribes such as Obaidah, Dahm, Bin AL-Harith, Jahm, and other tribes.
The declaration called for boycotting American goods and opposition to the US-led war against Afghanistan. The sheikhs asked the Yemeni government not support the USA in its current war and requested the public to support Afghans in every possible way against the new “crusade war.”
The declaration requested that the government should not arrest any more activists, condemned the arrest campaigns currently taking place in various Yemeni cities and threatened US interests in the country.
In their declaration, the sheikhs requested the support of other tribes in the country, asking them to stand by them in implementing the points of the declaration, especially as the sheikhs felt that the US approach to the eastern governorates is suspicious and may be aimed at demeaning opposition to US strategies in areas such as Amran, in which a massive protest took place a few weeks ago.