Amidst heavy security protestors threaten to end regime [Archives:2007/1085/Front Page]

September 13 2007

DHALE, September 12 ) Demonstrators blocked the highway in Al-Dhale' on the Sana'a-Aden Highway, thereby deterring traffic of government vehicles, and causing traffic jams. The demonstration comes in protest against the detention of tens of citizens in security jails over riots that took place in Aden two weeks ago. Negotiations between government and protestors in Al-Dhale' governorate are going on to unblock the road that has been impeding traffic since Monday's morning.

VIPs and military leaders from Al-Dhale' governorate left Sana'a on Tuesday in an attempt to convince demonstrators to unblock the Sana'a-Aden highway.

Negotiators demanded the opposition Joint Meeting Parties' leaders in Al-Dhale' to intervene. In return the Interior Ministry has to apologize for alleging that protestors opened fire at police in last Monday's rioting after policemen shot dead three protestors and injured eight others.

JMP in Al-Dhale' released a statement, describing the shooting of demonstrators as “a criminal and terrorist act” reflecting the regime's abuse of citizens. The opposition parties demanded that the injured must be treated at the state's expense. They requested locals to be patient and not to allow mischief-makers to create violence. They encouraged peaceful opposition, as the best mean to demands and attain legal rights.

Baath and Nasserite parties and civil community organizations in Aden condemned the oppressive practices of authorities against citizens in Aden city and other governorates. These parties and organizations insisted on the government to immediately release any detained protestors and treat those injured during demonstrations in Al-Dhale', Aden, Mukalla, Taiz and Shabwa, and compensate those who suffered damages.

Price hikes cause more anger

The new dose of price hikes timed with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, with wheat's price jumping to YR 6,000 per 50 kg in Aden and other governorates, has increased public anger even further. Retired soldiers, unemployed youth opposition have joined ranks in the demonstrations protesting against the difficult living conditions and discrimination they face.

The committee of coordinating between retirees, unemployed youth, and the liberation movement strugglers and martyrs societies organized a massive sit-in in yet anther governorate south Yemen; Lahj. Attended by hundreds of citizens, the protestors denounced all state policies. It also condemned heavy security spread in the streets and limitation of mobility during the night.

In Lahj, masses of angry protestors in the district ascended nearby mountains and besieged Aden road.

The reported that military and security forces climbed up other mountains while the traffic from and to Aden was held up as the roads are blocked. Locals organized a peaceful sit-in on Monday demanding authorities to free citizens detained for participating in peaceful protests. Lahj sit-in grew into an angry protest following news that authorities were besieging the Yemeni Socialist Party's head-office and preventing citizens from staging a peaceful sit-in in Freedom Square in Khor Maksar.

Women protest as well

In the same context, Mukalla city witnessed on Monday afternoon a huge female sit-in. Women protesters demanded the government to release all those detained over participating in September 1 demonstrations in Aden, Hadramout, Al-Dhale', Lahj and Taiz. At the event, relatives of the injured and detainees, and female activists from JMP Women Sector gave speeches affirming: “The protest rejects all the forms of violence, and arbitrary arrests.”

Personnel from Republican Guards and Central Security foiled a solidarity festival, which JMP organized in Taiz as part of a series of protests against the government's policies. The troops arrested many protestors. Following dispersal of the protestors, JMP released a statement calling on its supporters to be patient and tolerant. It advised Taiz citizens to continue their peaceful protest until law and order and equal citizenship are achieved. These parties threatened to escalate their protests in different governorates and districts and condemned authorities' crackdown on citizens in Mukalla, Aden and Al-Dhale'.


MP Salah Al-Shanfara declared that congestion is prevailing the governorate and this congestion is impossible to manage, particularly after security personnel killed three citizens and injured another eight on Monday while attempting to disperse them. Al-Shanfara held the government and Chief of Al-Dhale' Security Department accountable for what had happened.

He told that people are spreading in streets and highlands while the Sana'a-Aden highway is still blocked. He said the government machinates illegal events and then holds citizens, who take to streets in peaceful protests to claim their constitutional rights, accountable for these events. The MP continued that armored vehicles assaulted people after the protest was over.

“Security personnel's crackdown on peaceful and civilized protests will only exacerbate the situation. Ultimately, fall of the current regime will be at the hands of protestors, who claim their constitutional rights. The regime is advised to pack its bags, and prepare to flee the country,” the MP commented.

In a letter addressed to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Amnesty International urged him to release BG Nasser Al-Nuba, Chairman of Military Retirees' Societies Council and other detainees without any conditions because he exercises rights to peaceful protest. AI also called on Interior Minister and Attorney-General to ensure rights of the former army members of People Democratic Republic of Yemen, who have been deprived of decent living since 1994.