HOOD demands judge Loqman’s release [Archives:2006/949/Local News]

May 25 2006

SANA'A, May 24 ) The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD), called on President Saleh earlier this week to order the release of Judge Mohamed Loqman. So far, Loqman has served half of his prison term. The organization said in a message to the President, “the pardon of Judge Al-Dailami and Miftah have left the bloody Saada events behind. We hope that your decision will include Judge Loqman.” Sources in the media have confirmed that President Saleh has directed the Supreme Judiciary Council to examine Judge Loqman's case and begin preparations for his release. The Special Penal Court sentenced Loqman, former judge of the Haraz Court of First Instance, to 10 years imprisonment. Allegedly, he participated in an armed gang that incited rebellion against the constitution and the legal order. Further, he was accused of defying the president and instigating racial, sectarian, and doctrinal conflicts.

The Supreme Judiciary Council previously lifted immunity from Judge Loqman because security forces uncovered his involvement in the Hussein Al-Hothi uprising. Additionally, Loqman recruited youths to the ranks of the Believing Muslim Youth group. There was speculation that the group was headed by Hussein Al-Hothi who was killed in 2005. Judge Loqman is considered the first person to be tried for propagating Al-Hothi's thoughts and enlisting youths in Al-Hothi's rebellion. The rebellion began on 18 June 2004 in the Maran Mountains west of Saada.