Trial of ‘Terrorists’ in Full Swing: Heavy-Handed Interrogation? [Archives:1999/05/Front Page]

February 1 1999

The second sitting of the trial of the five UK nationals and one French citizen was held in Aden on Saturday, January 30th. A number of journalists, lawyers, UK diplomats, relatives of the accused, and other interested individuals attended.
In the first sitting of the court, on Wednesday, January 24th, the accused individuals took off their shirts and brandished signs of beating and electrification on their backs. There were also visible signs of bruises on their arms. They claim to have been subjected to various forms of torture during heavy-handed interrogation by the authorities. The officials, while categorically denying the charges, could not explain the bruises.
The six individuals are charged with plotting to sabotage law and order. The authorities presented several mobile phones, lap-top computers, and other electronic gadgets as evidence. They also showed various weapons such as bazookas, RPGs, explosives and light firearms which they say were found in the possession of the accused persons.
Media statements by extremist religious elements implicate this group with an international terrorist network based in the UK.
In the meanwhile, the authorities announced that they have captured in Shabwah six more individuals who are alleged to be part of the same network.
At the same time, trial of another group is now underway in Abyan. This is the group that was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Australian, UK and US tourists on 29th December, 1998.
By: Yusuf Sherif,
Aden Office, Yemen Times.
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