HOOD: 38 refugees detained in Yemen [Archives:2006/909/Local News]

January 5 2006

SANA'A, Jan.3 ) The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, known as HOOD, revealed that 38 Somalis have been detained at the Criminal Investigation Bureau and at Al-Wahdah, Al-Bilaili and Al-Nassr police stations since Dec. 17 clashes with police who broke up a sit-in in Sana'a.

In a statement issued last Tuesday, HOOD condemned the conduct of security apparatuses, which forced dozens of refugees to write pledges not to hold a sit-in at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in west Sana'a.

Acts of violence continued for 35 days, leading to the death of 37-year-old refugee Ali Umar Mohamed Ali Eqbal, who left his three children with their mother in the city of Busasu, Somalia. Eight people were injured and dozens captured in the incident.

Human rights organizations accused police of Eqbal's death, after being requested by UNHCR to put an end to the sit-in staged in front of its office.

Refugees were protesting against what they called “discrimination,” claiming they should enjoy their rights in compliance with international conventions.

According to the UNHCR, Yemen is the only country in the region where the government grants Somali refugees the rights to refuge and work in its territory.