No to killing children [Archives:2007/1031/Opinion]

March 8 2007

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
All religions and laws ban the killing and transgression of human beings, irrespective of reasons and justifications. To achieve justice, religions and laws stipulate executing those who kill others, particularly in the case of wilful killings. The penalty is heavier when the victims are women and children.

Looking at different stages in human history, we find that millions of children have died in conflicts caused by others' policies. Children pay the price for the foolishness of adults, as they are subjected to murder, hunger and thirst, which are the result of clashes and wars. Those children who don't die suffer various diseases or psychological disorders due to such terrible scenes. Their problems grow worse and their tragedy harder as many of them become victims of reckless driving and road accidents.

Yemen recently has experienced strange crimes contradicting social values, such as children being killed by those quarreling with their parents and families. Such problems originate due to the lack of justice, as well as the poor application of law and order.

The most recent such crime was when gunmen shot dead Taha Mohammed Al-Awadhi as he returned from school in the south of the capital. The perpetrators killed Al-Awadhi after they failed to abduct him over a land dispute between his family and some Sana'a sheikhs.

Despite all of the justifications of the dispute, the child's murder is unjustified and rejected by law and religion. An incident like this requires security and judicial authorities to immediately contain the issue and investigate it to reinforce justice and compensate childhood. Regretfully, the case was ignored without any government intervention, which has helped the problem grow into armed clashes between the two tribes.

Civil community organizations, particularly those concerned with defending rights and freedoms, should work hard to increase public awareness not to engage children in others' clashes. Since this didn't occur, it means these organizations aren't interested in children's rights.

We don't stand by a certain party because justice is the only criteria for specifying the oppressed party. We stand by all children who are victims of vicious clashes. Additionally, we demand more reinforcement of law, social justice and stability because the media has a weak role regarding children's issues. Killing children without immediately issuing fair verdicts affects social stability and makes the situation of children enrolled in schools more risky.

Yasser Al-Mayasi is a Yemeni journalist specialized in children and business. [email protected]