Strong clashes at Sana’a University [Archives:2007/1078/Front Page]

August 20 2007

By:Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, August 19 ) Strong clashes occurred between soldiers and students enrolling at Sana'a University last Sunday in the yard of the Faculty of Trading and Commerce.

An eyewitness confirmed that soldiers and students fired shots during the enrolling process. One student, Ameen Al-Shubati, was injured and taken to the hospital after a soldier beat him in the head with the back of his pistol. The eyewitness indicated that the incident occurred in sequence with student protests against the enrolling committee at the Faculty of Trading and Commerce, accusing the faculty of unfairly distinguishing between students in the enrolling process. The eyewitness added that four of the soldiers were carrying weapons and about four others carried cudgels.

The General Union of Yemeni Students condemned the firing of shots and bashing of students with cudgels during the enrolling process. Redhwan Mass'oud, head of the General Union of Yemeni Students considered these acts as terrorism against university students and asked the concerned authorities to transfer the soldiers to the judiciary to be punished and to substitute the military guards with civil guards.

Abdul Malek Al-Sayiaghi, head of the General People's Congress (GPC) at the Faculty of Trading and Commerce, considered that Mass'oud's demands were geared toward clearing the university yard of security in order to encourage fighting and to attack university guards attempting to quell ensuing violence.

Al-Sayiaghi affirmed that the incident occurred when a group of Islah-affiliated students started distributing some enrollment forms and partisan slogans to students. He added that one of the Islah-affiliated students was the first to fire shots.

Al-Sayiaghi expected further incidents in the future and considered such incident the result of a lack of awareness among students of enrollment procedures.

There were more than 1,000 students and only one committee to receive students' documents while there were three committees last year.

It is expected that Yemeni universities, in which the enrolling period started Saturday, August 18, will receive about 65,000 students for the 2007 – 2008 academic year.