Sa’ada detainees’ families hold sit-in [Archives:2008/1203/Local News]

October 30 2008

SANA'A, Oct. 29 ) Families of detainees, human rights activists and representatives from human rights organizations held a three hour sit-in on Tuesday in front of the Prime Minister's office calling for the release of their relatives detained during the Sa'ada war.

The Committee for Defending the Detainees of Sa'ada, which organized the sit-in, issued a statement to Prime Minister Dr. Ali Mujawar in which they declared that the government's behavior in detaining innocent civilians was giving Yemen a bad reputation. They also stressed that President Ali Abdullah Saleh had already issued a directive to release all innocent detainees.

Carrying banners that read 'Where are our sons?' and pictures of their relatives, the families expressed their disappointment with the government for not fulfilling its promises. They said that, if the detainees were not released soon, they would be psychologically affected.

Ali Al-Dailami, an activist, said that what is happening to the prisoners violates Yemeni law and human rights. He said that they were workers, students and teachers in schools who never had direct contact with the Houthis, the rebels of Sa'ada.

Fahd Al-Qarni, a Yemeni artist who was detained by the government for his songs criticizing government policy, expressed his happiness to see so many people a the sit-in and said, “We need to be free in order to live in dignity. Unfortunately, we lose our humanity as a result of such behavior [by the government].”

Mohammed Miftah