To Kidnap Or Not To Kidnap, That Is The Question [Archives:2000/50/Focus]

December 11 2000

Abdul-Hakim Afaqih
[email protected]
As far as kidnapping is concerned, it can be said that it is an indication of the wild form in a community. Kidnapping has its historical root in any community which still suffers from. Our history is full of evidences and events that kidnapping is a vital phenomenon. Even the best modern Yemeni literary masterpiece is the novel of Mr. Zaid Damag which is entitled The Hostage. Kidnapping is a sign of the ill exercise of law and government and the absence of the modern state. However, in Yemen, it has become a form of a joke. One starts to be skeptical and thinks that the government itself stands behind the kidnapping and perhaps in the near future there will be the Ministry of Kidnapping and Tourism.
Factually, it seems that the government itself gets benefits from kidnapping. These benefits appear in the following points;
1. It is a distraction for the international media from the actual crises of political or economical shortcomings.
2. Kidnapping offers an opportunity for the government media to change local and international opinion against the opposition by accusing them of kidnapping the guests of the generous Yemeni people.
3. Kidnapping creates a chance for the government to train its staff in the art of negotiating.
4. Kidnapping in some provinces creates a chance for the government to train the soldiers how to use weapons in live battles instead of practice ones.
5. Kidnapping creates a chance for the government to claim that its educational plan is succeeding because they give the learners in tribal areas a chance to practice languages with native speakers and to instruct the faculty of the languages of using kidnapping instead of scholarships.
6. Since very rare cases end by killing hostages, kidnapping is a nice successful propaganda for attracting tourists to visit Yemen and live the experience of being kidnapped in happy accommodation circumstances.
So the government supports kidnapping, does it not?
Is it not the government of the Republic of Kidnapping? Will it cooperate with the Parliament in establishing the Law of Kidnapping.