Open protest in Aden, and Mareb governorate joins in the campaign [Archives:2007/1089/Local News]

September 27 2007

SANA'A, Sept. 26 ) The pensioners association in Aden decided on an open protest, which started Wednesday at Freedom Square. They demand the release of all the protestors arrested during the previous demonstrations and to bring those security officials who arrested and harassed the protestors to justices. They also demanded the state to provide medical treatment of the protestors injured by the security.

On the same note, an opposition lead demonstration took place in Mukalla, Hadramout governorate on Tuesday evening. Thousands of protestors beckoned the call of six opposition political parties demanding the release of the remaining Yemenis imprisoned during previous protests a few weeks ago. Eighteen protestors were released Monday after about a month of imprisonment because of their participation in protests early September. Ba Ume, one of the fundamentalist socialist leaders and an influential figure in Hadramout and three of his sons were among the released, due to pressure from the opposition, protestors and through meditation from Hadramout governor. The protestors were charged with high treason a penalty to which could be the death sentence. However, the protestors were acquitted and now demands for releasing more of the detainees on similar grounds are being voiced around the republic.

The protest was attended by a number of lawyers to educated the public on the legal procedures that should have taken place during the arrest, interrogation and imprisonment of Yemenis, all of which according to the lawyers were violated by the state security.

In Dhale governorate, another congregation took place whereby the death of the two young protestors was condemned and support to their families was displayed. The two dead men were victims of the security police bullets who tried to disperse a demonstration over ten days ago in Al-Dhale. The authority cut electricity in the square where the congregation took place in order to dissuade the participants from demonstrating, however they remained until the early hours of Tuesday morning.

For the first time in Mareb a similar protest took place, only this was accompanied with a petition signing campaign aiming at one hundred thousand signatures from around the governorate. The petition and protest both lead by the Joint Meeting Parties, a coalition of opposition political parties, demanded 20 percent of the oil production coming from Mareb governorate to be reinvested in the city's development. They also demanded clean water, sanitary system, power supply and other basic services to be available to the local citizens. The protestors also called for compensation for the local farmers whose crops had been damaged because of the extractive industries.

The demands also included employment opportunities to at least half of the unemployed youth in the governorate and increasing the number of social welfare beneficiaries keeping in mind that the governorate produces 400 thousand barrels of oil daily and is the source of over 65 percent of the state's budget coming from oil industry.