Thousands of pensioners demonstrate in Aden [Archives:2007/1066/Local News]

July 9 2007

Ridhwan Alawi Ahmed
Aden Bureau

ADEN, July 8 ) Responding to the call by the Coordinating Council of the Military Pensioners Associations, thousands of military pensioners from southern and eastern areas of Yemen staged a sit-in on Saturday morning in Aden's Parades Square. Right from the early morning, the spread of military vehicles and personnel was noticed everywhere and checkpoints were introduced to prevent the demonstration.

Further, some soldiers prevented congregating in the square and tried to disperse the demonstrators. The military police arrested the demonstration's leaders and organizers including Brig. Abdulkarim Thabet and Brig. Nasser Al-Noubah, while their fellow demonstrators chanted against the restriction of freedom and peaceful expression of opinion.

They also raised slogans and flags calling for a political resolution to the pensioners' issue and the same thing was demanded in the speeches delivered during the demonstration. Several human rights organizations expressed their solidarity with pensioners.

A pensioner who declined to mention his name told Yemen Times that they came for demanding their rights in peaceful and civilized way, noting that they face a harsh treatment by security forces and dozens were arrested.

“We are graduates of Russia and some of us were military leaders