On the war’s first anniversary:Opposition denied permit to run protest against US war on Iraq [Archives:2004/722/Front Page]

March 22 2004

Opposition political parties' leaders carried out a token sit-in in the Parliament on Saturday to denounce the decision of the authorities to deny them permission to stage a massive protest to denounce the US war on Iraq on its first anniversary.
The Joint Meeting Opposition leaders said that their sit-in decision in the Parliament was taken after their agreement with the ruling party GPC failed to organize a massive demonstration on Saturday to denounce the war on Iraq and demand immediate withdrawal of the occupying troops. However, the GPC refuted the opposition allegations and said that it suggested that the protest be held on Friday instead of Saturday, which is a working day. The opposition said in their press release on Thursday that the stand of the government to ban the proposed protest was meant to tarnish the glorious position of Yemeni people towards the Palestinian and Iraqi causes.
Sources at the opposition said that the GPC retracted its agreement with them on the organization of the protest as they planned for a massive protest in Sana'a and other main cities. The GPC, however, said that the opposition was demanding that the students should be ordered to take part in the event.
The opposition reiterated its denouncement to the war on and occupation of Iraq and that of the Zionists in Palestine, demanding that the US should pull out its troops from Iraq and that setting up military bases for the US in Iraq is totally rejected.
Some opposition MPs said that they are studying the possibility of presenting a request to the Parliament Presidency, that the Minister of Interior should be summoned to be questioned on the reasons of refusing the organization of the protest.