Rada’a: A Call for Accountability after  the Sa’eed Village Horror [Archives:1999/16/Governance]

April 19 1999

Angry repercussions for the brutal incident that took place late March, in Sa’eed village, Rada are still raging. (See last issue of the Yemen Times) This week, the Parliament sent a formal letter to the Minister of Interior requesting that he answer the questions related to this tragic incident. The questions were sent by Mr. Mohammed Najy Alaw, a lawyer and a member of the Parliament.
In this letter, Mr. Alaw listed the crimes perpetrated by elements in the para-military Central Forces. The latest violation in the list is the rejection by the Central Forces of the Attorney General’s orders to release the detainees from Saeed village. The poor villagers are being held as hostages until the alleged shooter turns himself in to the Central Forces. So far, there is no evidence that the soldier was killed by any of the villagers. On the contrary, the villagers confirm that he was shot down by a more sophisticated weapon that is commonly used by the army and Central Security forces. In any case, as Mr. Alawa points out, the central forces have no right whatsoever to punish the whole village of Saeed as the accountability for any criminal act is exclusively personal. The collective punishment has resulted in the following intolerable crimes:
– Firing at innocent villagers.
– Burning down houses.
– Looting private possessions.
– Killing the villagers cattle.
– Creating panic among the public and exposing the social peace to danger. All these are in addition to similar atrocious acts such as the death of a child because he was denied medical treatment by the attacking Police Forces.
Mr. Alaw is requesting the Minister of the Interior to take prompt action to put an end to the disgraceful brutality, reminding the Minister that such acts are not only in violation of the country’s existing Criminal Procedures Act but also an affront to the Constitution, a thing which could damage the country’s reputation in the issue of Human Rights and public liberties.
We of the Yemen Times hope that Mr. Alaw’s request will raise the Minister’s sense of responsibility to attend personally to the tragic situation in Saeed village.
By: Mohammed Abbas
Yemen Times