Al-Shoura [Archives:2004/702/Press Review]

January 12 2004

4 Jan 2004
Main headlines:
– Court decides the release of the arrested and the students condemn allegations of the prime minister and interior minister
– 5 persons, including two children killed in Shahara
– Grand Mosque detainees exceed 200 persons
Columnist Abdulkareem Mohammed al-Khaiwani says the authority in our country insists that it is democratic, respects human rights and freedoms. Human rights, freedom and democracy are merely slogans. I would not give evidence about that by mentioning what has been the fate of political pluralism or the situation of the civil societies or the retreat of the electoral experiment and weakness of the parliament, the absence of local councils authorities and the domination of corruption. All these are tangible things well-known by the citizen and the authority does not feel ashamed of.
I just want to mention one instance. For more than a year the worshippers in the Grand Mosque have been subject to arrests following every Friday prayers and the mosque's sanctity is violated at the hands of security people. The interior ministry does not even care to give explanation about that and the endowments ministry has nothing to do with what is happening.
But that the whole matter reaches the point that violation and imprisonment are going on for more than a year and about 250 persons are kept in prisons of the political security, disregarding the constitution and law and Islamic law without clarification by the government, under silence of opposition parties that are keen on appeasing feelings of America as well as silence of religious scholars and then statements by the government denying the presence of political prisoners in Yemen, it is an outrageous matter representing the highest degrees of depreciation of rights and freedoms. All those detainees, or majority of them, are under the age of 15 and heir only crime is chanting slogans against America and Israel and imploring God for the victory of Islam and the Muslims.