Student union leader attacked [Archives:2007/1052/Front Page]

May 21 2007

Mohammed Al-Jabri
SANA'A, May 20 – Ridhwan Masoud, head of Sana'a University's General Union for Yemeni Students, said Thursday that a group of students attacked him and threatened to kill him after a dispute about including some articles in the upcoming Rights and Freedoms Directory.

In a statement to local news web site, Masoud alleged that Mohammed Al-Ba'adani, head of the student union's Freedoms Committee, attacked him with the help of more than 20 others after destroying some union property. “They also threatened to kill me in front of students,” he added.

According to Masoud, Al-Ba'adani wanted to include in the directory some articles prepared by the union's committee. “When I refused to include the articles, Al-Ba'adani suddenly attacked me and threw a cup of tea in my face,” Masoud recounted.

The proposed articles stipulate that security authorities can intervene in student activities and stop any peaceful demonstration or expression on the university campus.

The alleged incident occurred a few days after the student union announced its solidarity with university teachers in their strike seeking to implement 2005's Wages and Salaries Law No. 43.

Masoud accuses influential figures within the General People's Congress, Yemen's ruling party, of trying to cripple the union's activities, but affirmed that it will continue defending students' rights. A source at the student union holds university leaders responsible for the strike and called on the university's president to resign.

The Sana'a University Staff Members Syndicate further accused university leaders of politicizing academic and administrative positions and linking appointments to political affiliation rather than capability and eligibility.

Additionally, Masoud denied reports on the ruling party web site that he attacked Al-Ba'adani.

The web site reported Thursday that Masoud attacked Al-Ba'adani, a member of the ruling party, at Sana'a University and that the student union's executive office had decided to suspend Masoud as a result.