Attempts made to release al-Houthi’s followers [Archives:2004/783/Local News]

October 21 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Reliable sources told the Yemen Times that there are ongoing attempts to release some of late al-Houthi's followers, who have been arrested after the end of the cleric's rebellion more than a month ago. This comes after President Ali Abdullah Saleh gave a promise to do so in a meeting with the mediators and three prominent individuals representing the Faithful Youth Organization, which was founded by al-Houthi himself. Meanwhile, several prominent figures of the same organization continue to insist on the necessity to release all al-Houthi's followers detained, and who are reportedly more than eight hundred in number and are currently held in prisons in Sana'a and Sa'ada.
The President had promised to release those detainees after some files, paperwork, and other conditions are fulfilled.
Judge Hamood al-Hitar announced recently that positive results were reached in dialogue with the extremists as one hundred and seventy-five persons out of three hundred of al-Houthi's followers, agreed to abandon their extremist ideas and revert to moderate Islam. However, Judge al-Hitar refrained from giving any clear indication of whether those individuals will be released or not.
Al-Hitar also announced that the tribunal has reached good results with one hundred and twelve others suspected of being affiliated to al-Qaeda terrorist organization. This is an outcome of the fourth round of dialogue with the most radical elements that returned from Afghanistan prior and after to the 911 incident.
It has been a custom for many years to make the Holy month of Ramadan a time during which the President would pardon many detainees, and this year's Ramadan may witness such amnesty as well.