After the president amnesty decisionThe pardoned react [Archives:2003/641/Reportage]

June 12 2003

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
The reactions expressed by the 16-member group from the YSP included in the pardon decision by president of the republic varied from one man to another. We at the Yemen Times reviewed their reactions and came out with the following:
Ali Salem Al-Biedh, former vice- president and head of the YSP politburo, was given a death sentence. This man did not give any comment yet and nothing is known from his side.
Mohammed Ali Al-Qairas, former MP and Sa'ada governor, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment said that all were partners in this unity and mistakes were made by all. He appreciated the president's decision but he demanded face value return of their assets and properties taken during the '94 war.
Muthana Salem Askar, Advisor to the previous defense minister was sentenced to a 10 years imprisonment, sees this decision as an important step and that to return home should be a right guaranteed to all. But he sees that this step should be followed by other steps in order to rectify the mistakes that happened in the unity process. He also stated that their demands are to implement the principles of the Unity and to assure equal rights for all citizens and social justice.
Haidar Abubakr Al-Attas, the then prime minister was sentenced to death, considered the decision a starting- point for endorsing unity and overcoming mistakes of the past. He was grateful to the president for closing this file and ending all the cruel consequences resulting from the '94 civil war. He pointed that they had been waiting for this decision for long but maybe there were reasons for the delay. He added that their return requires preparation of a number of circumstances so that all would return.
Anees Hassan Yahya, Deputy prime minister and member of the YSP politburo, was sentenced to 5 years in prison commented that this was a brave and positive decision. And he confirmed his will to cooperate and return home.
Saleh Shaef, mentioned that the decision was a courageous political step in the right direction and there are many steps that must follow and there is a list of demands that concern the national case which was presented by the opposition parties and leadership of the YSP.
Qassim Yahya, advisor to the minister of defense then, was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment stated that this is a strong decision and that reasons for staying abroad are over. But he also hoped that the leadership would return their properties and possessions that were taken during the '94 crisis. He denied having any conditions for return and said that he would return when his personal circumstances allow it.
Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghr, member of the YSP central committee and head of the agricultural committee at the parliament in 1993 said that this pardon would open the way to solving many issues which Yemen should have overcome earlier. And he also stated that robust procedures and measures should be taken to return possessions and houses of the pardoned.