Press Review [Archives:1998/48/Press Review]

November 30 1998

Sanaa, weekly 26/11/98 
(Al Haqq party)   Main Headlines
-It is reported that a draft law is currently being worded to increase income taxes on government employees by 35% and to reduce taxes on merchants’ profits.
-Draft papers of a seminar to be hosted by Aden University in the period 5-7 December indicate that 90% of Yemeni families are considered poor while between 5 to 10 percent of the population capture 70% of the total national income.
-Sources at the Hodeidah governorate have said that the homicide prison walls are cracking and that the whole building will collapse any time over the heads of its inmates.
-A member of the so-called Islamic Army in Abyan has called for striking American interests in Yemen and said that the US should not be allowed to control Yemeni territory at the pretext of offering humane assistance in the demining operations.
Women Behind Bars
By Rahima Hujaira   Article Summary:
It was so amazing to witness those 74 women along with their 20 little ones behind bars. Most of the women were convicted or accused of prostitution, adultery or running away from their homes. Some of them claimed they were the victim of a certain kind of vindictive act while others say they were pressured into such a behavior.
In one of the strangest stories, a girl was convicted of raping a friend of hers and both girls were imprisoned. When I sat alone with both of them I asked them if that was the true story and the raped girl confessed that she had slept with her cousin who promised to marry her but that her parents rejected him. When her family wanted her to marry another man, she refused and told her brother of the story which bought her beating and electric shocks. She escaped with the other girl and lived in a house before they were reportedly arrested. They fabricated the story so that the girl and her cousin would not be charged with adultery.
The strange thing is that in spite of being in a democratic country, the female prisoners, who are between 14 and 47 years old, are severely beaten at any time they refuse orders or make a noise while others who complete their prison sentences are still behind bars.
Human rights organizations and officials should pay repeated visits to that prison and listen individually to each case and send women to see for themselves traces of torture on the prisoners’ bodies. The public opinion’s attention should be drawn to such practices and calls should be voiced for punishing corrupted elements, especially in the Interior Ministry.