Al-Sahwa [Archives:2008/1134/Press Review]

March 3 2008

Thursday, February 28
Top Stories

– Education Minister admits arrest of 14 suspects charged with selling schoolbooks

– Yemeni Journalists Syndicate plans to speak with International Federation of Journalists with regard to cartoon reprinting

– Supreme Judicial Council Chairman criminalizes partisan activities

– HOOD launches a draft judicature amendment law

– Academics claim government should spread human rights culture

– Parliament constitutes committee to investigate Ja'ashin locals' complaints following their mass exodus to Sana'a

Yemeni Parliament formed a committee on Wednesday to investigate grievances of Al-Jaashin citizens and their complaints against the influential Sheikh Mohammed Mansour, the weekly reported, adding that the committee could not do anything against the influential tribal leader. It continued that Tens of citizens of Al-Jaashin district, Ibb, held Wednesday a sit-in before Parliament protesting volitions practiced against them by a powerful sheikh who is also a member of the Shura Council.

Protesters raised slogans demanding Parliament to intervene and put an end to abuses, according to's correspondent. Abdul-Rahman Barman, one of Hood Organization staff members, said that the protestors would direct a letter to the parliament in which they would detail the so-called Sheikh's crimes committed against them.

He accused the sheikh of committing constitutional crimes, asking Parliament to immediately investigate him, indicating that among the crimes practiced by Al-Jaashin Sheikh are imprisonment of citizens in private jails, levying taxes on locals, banning travels and confiscating their lands and livestock.

Last month, Mansour arrested two teachers while on duty at their school and put them in solitary confinement as they refused to give him documents of their own land. In late February, about 70 families were forced to flee their homes by Mansour because they refused to pay a collective amount of three million riyals (US $15,000) of zakat (an annual alms payment) to him. They said they had already paid zakat to the local authority.

The villagers were forced to camp in a nearby deserted area with few provisions for seven days. This sheikh is the same man who put a parliamentary candidate from the socialist party in jail simply because he decided to run against his son. He wanted the people to vote only for one candidate, his son.