Sana’a University students acquitted [Archives:2004/700/Front Page]

January 5 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The East Sana'a Court ruled that the students of Sana'a University detained on charges of practicing violence and attacking security guards of the university should be released.
Seven students appeared before court on Saturday as they were accused by the prosecution of “practicing violence and attacking hall number 5 of the faculty of education without a permit from the university as well as assaulting the university guards.”
The students denied those accusations and said the violent acts that took place two weeks ago were erupted by the security people. They demanded that they should be set free so as to be able to do their first term final exams which started last Saturday.
The court decided that the students should be released provided that they present assurance that they would come whenever they are wanted.
Other seven students detained at criminal investigations prison who were ordered to be freed refused to leave the prison without their friends who were turned to court for trial. They even started hunger strike in a way to refuse their detention.
An interior ministry official last week said that “some students of Sana'a University affiliated to one of the political parties, meaning Islah, backed by armed extremists from outside the university attacked one of the education college halls, crackling doors as well as hitting the guards of the university who were limited in number.”
He said they were planning to conduct election for the students union without obtaining a license from the students' affairs department of the university.
He pointed out that security authorities arrested some of the perpetrators and will arrest others who will be prosecuted according to the law.
A fact-finding committee was set by the parliament.
It recommended in its report that 14 arrested students of the union's leaders should be released, holding the security people accountable for the violent acts inside the university campus.
The opposition accused the government of oppressing students union and attempting to control civil society organizations which are an important element of democracy.
The Opposition demands that security men standing behind the problem should be presented to court.