Protests continue in Radfan [Archives:2007/1096/Front Page]

October 22 2007

Saddam Al-Ashmouri
For Yemen Times

LAHJ, Oct. 21 ) The protest continues in Radfan, where citizens spanning the districts of Lahj governorate and other provinces come to participate in the open-ended sit-in, demanding the authority to arrest perpetrators who opened fire on citizens during the celebration of the anniversary of the 14th of October revolution.

Security forces claimed that an unidentified gunmen opened fire on opposition activists planning a march on Saturday 13 October. However, opposition sources said security forces had clashed with activists because the activists organized a march without government permission.

Eyewitnesses mentioned that some words were written on the banners lifted by the protesters demanding the legal rights of pensioners and unemployed youths. They also condemned the killing acts carried out by the security bodies during fighting protests held in Mukalla, Aden and recently in Radfan one day before the rally. Five persons were shot dead and 14 other were injured. The participants lifted the pictures of the killed persons.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered the concerned parties to form a fact finding committee for this incident.

Al-Habilain, the capital city of Radfan experienced massive protests last week. The protests have been orchestrated by opposition parties including the Al-Islah (Reform) Party, the main Islamic opposition party, and the Yemeni Socialist Party, (YSP).

The Interior Ministry had warned political parties and professional associations that anyone staging unauthorized demonstrations “will have to take the consequences.”

However, these protests come as a continuation of the previous sit-ins and demonstrations organized by a group of the military pensioners who demand the review of their pensions especially under the current price hikes.