An appeal to the new Minister of Human Rights:They’re crying for help [Archives:2003/637/Community]

May 26 2003
Amat alaeem al-Suswah, Minister of Human Rights
Amat alaeem al-Suswah, Minister of Human Rights
Faroqu Al-Murish
Faroqu Al-Murish
In the advanced world, the disabled receive special attention and care for their special needs. That is quite understood especially when the law of such countries serve their rights and adhere to their benefit through prioritizing their rights in employment, and living. Yet in our country, the situation is tragic; no special attention, on the contrary, they are brutally discriminated against and hence find nowhere to be.
The venue is Taiz; the Handicapped Rehabilitation Institute (HRI), the time, every passing day. What happens every day in this institute? The deaf and dumb would indicate with you in sign language with terror in their eyes it's: “Jalila”.
The story started 9 years ago in 1994 when the HRI was established in Taiz. At that time many people with disabilities joined in hoping that this institute would be their chance to develop themselves and to be something useful in this society. But all their dreams were shattered smashed on the face of reality. A brutal disappointment to them seen as one in one person: Jalila, who apparently uses them to gain donations and aid and does nothing for them at all.
“We may be disabled, but we understand what's going on”, one of the deaf and dumb students in the institute conveyed to the Yemen Times through a translator. “She gathers money for society called “From a Child To Another” that does not even exist any more, and only is opened miraculously when a VIP is visiting to show him that we have something going on for the sake of the unfortunate. The handicapped bitterly added.
Although there are donations coming to the institute, students pay for the registration fees, for transport and in turn they work with no return in the tailoring and carpentry workshops of the institute. In fact, hearing-aid are sold to the students in exaggerated prices as US$ 600 per set.
Not only do the students suffer, the teachers too under this fanatic management. Teacher Farooq Al-Murash sign language teacher at the institute and author of a book about sign language says: “Seven years I have been giving all that I've got to the institute. Me and my colleagues work with no formal contracts and keep being insulted and humiliated by the head of institute “Jalila Al-Shuja'”. Not only that, she simply kicks out anyone whom she doesn't like or disagrees with without giving us any rights which we truly deserve. The only reason why we were sacked was because we joined the “Jame'yat Al-Tummoh” (Ambition Society) for care and rehabilitation of the deaf and dumb and claiming their rights and integrating them in the society.”
The other society, “Ambition”, was established as a counter effect to the happenings in the Handicapped Rehabilitation Institute. Mr. Abdulhaleem Al-Shamiri head of Ambition Society told the Yemen Times that the reason why he started this society is to provide the unfortunate with what the other institute did not. “We started with an awareness campaign where we organized seminars and events so as to present the issues and worries of the deaf and dumb to the community. Then we began giving training courses for the deaf and dumb in tailoring, embroidery and illiteracy. We tried to make this society known so that we could get some help and fulfill the reasons why we started and what we stand for, HE Japanese Ambassador visited us, Human Rights Minister and Social Affairs Deputy Minister visited us too.” He told YT.
Mahdi Sultan Bani Ghazi general secretariat of the society mentioned that the students in the Handicapped Institute were threatened with expulsion and to be deprived from rehabilitation and training. He added that: “I was working as a computers teacher at the Institute for a very little salary, just 6000 YR coming from Charity for supporting the handicapped Rehabilitation institute, headed by Ahmed Hael Saeed An'am. The very person whom we are astounded by his acceptance to what's going on. In fact our society had been attacked by the GPC, and by the Social Affairs Office who appointed a new administration that has nothing to do with the deaf and dumb, for the Society. Ironically it was the students themselves, the handicapped people, who stood up for the society and raised the case in court. And thank god the society which was shut down at that time as a consequence of the trouble was sentenced to reopened again and the disabled received a compensation of 200,000 YR. Yet although even the court of appeal supported the verdict the society is still closed down for a whole year now. Can you believe that it is the deaf and dumb who are following the case now in the court? They know that this society is for their benefit that is why they are the ones fighting for it the most.”
It's not like no complaints have been reported, Taiz governor had received complaints by the students regarding their case with the Rehabilitation Institute, demanding that their rights returned. Even Minister of Human Rights received complaints about the same case and many other official organizations, but did any one lift a finger or say a word? Not at all. Mr. Bani Ghazi complained.
Recently a complaint has been raised to the American Embassy and to the United Nations Office in Sana'a. Students of the Society daily visit the Yemen Times Taiz Office demanding that their voice is to be heard. They have given up on the local authorities and the Yemeni Officials so now they hope that maybe foreign authorities would help. The instructions by minister of civil services and previous education minister to employ these people have not been realized. And the instructions of head of Education office in Taiz to the Handicapped Institute to give the expelled students their rights and rewards have been totally ignored. And Farooq Al-Murash graduate from handicapped institute in Kuwait is still jobless even though there is a court ruling to employ him in the Institute yet Ms Jalila happily refuses. In fact she says she does not care what the media says about her. With this situation, and these current circumstances whom should such unfortunate people call on?
What gives them little more hope now is perhaps the new Human Rights Minister Ms Amat Al-Aleem Al-Sosoa and they have stated a number of demands:
– Implementing the verdict of the Taiz Court of Appeal to reopen the Ambition Society and pay YR 200,000 thousand in compensation.
– Setting up a committee from the Central Organization for Auditing and Control to investigate into financial corruption cases in the Handicapped Institute and to refer them to the judiciary and also to investigate into students' suffering.
Farooq Mahdi and Ibrahim and tens of others are awaiting with eager anticipation what the new ministry would do for them.. but would it?