One killed, another wounded at Aden court [Archives:2004/795/Front Page]

December 2 2004

By Aden Bureau – YT
A day of horror and outrage was witnessed on Monday, 28 November when Abdurrahman Mohammad Al-Sawka was killed and Hussein Mohammad Karout wounded when a policeman opened fire to disperse a crowd of people gathering in front of the Sira Court in Aden.

Outraged protestors
The court was crowded with people during a hearing concerning the alleged murder of Awadh Khamis Al-Hinki and Hussein Ali Masaod.
An officer from the Intelligence Department was convicted of the murder of the two victims on 19 October 2004.
The judge of the court adjourned the hearing for the third time and this aroused tension among relatives of the two victims who were present at the court.
A source at the court security said the people assembled held a sit-in blocking the traffic in the street leading to the court.
Security measures were intensified in the vicinity of the court to enable the suspect to be taken out peacefully since the protestors attempted to snatch him from among the police recruits.

The drama of the shooting
On the other hand, an eyewitness said a policeman belonging to the central security got out of a police vehicle and fired randomly in the air and to the ground in an apparent attempt to disperse the crowd. As a result, passerby Hussein Karout was wounded in his foot and Abdurrahman Al-Sawka was killed while he was standing near the court carrying his child.
An eyewitness described the murder scene by saying that despite being fatally shot, the victim tried to keep himself balanced and not fall in order not to harm his child before he was prevented from falling by some of the horror-stricken people, who were present at the moment.
Another eyewitness said, ” I heard the shooting and shouting of the protestors. So, I left the court and found a bleeding person on the ground while a large crowd of people gathered in an attempt to take him away and there was a female child crying because her father was shot.”
He added, ” I saw a police officer snatching the gun from the soldier who supposedly was the one who opened fire. He then rushed him into the vehicle and both fled the scene.”
A third eyewitness shouted, “We came to the court to attend the trial of the murderer who killed two civilians and belonged to the Intelligence Department. We are now seeing another one killed by security forces in front of our own naked eyes!”

Security forces blame the crowd
In a statement to the Yemen Times, a source at the Security Authority said what happened was a result of the violent actions of the protestors standing in front of the court. He claims that the protesters threw stones at the police elements and blocked the street in an attempt to kill the defendant, was allegedly convicted of the murder two civilians, while he was inside the court building.
Investigations are still underway to find out the real causes behind the incident and it is expected that the family of the civilian who was killed in front of the court would file a lawsuit against the security forces for the murder of their relative.