USS COLE: The Investigation Human Rights Why The Americans Still Here? [Archives:2001/18/Focus]

April 30 2001

By Sharif Akram
Sometimes I ask myself, “Am I the only one who sees the wrong things around here?” What is wrong with my people? If they
feel the same way that I feel why nobody talks about it?
Today I would like to speak out about the USS Cole incident and ask the authorities why we, the people of Yemen is kept away from the results of the investigations?
Since the day that the incident happened (12 October 2000) we have been hearing rumors about every kind of involvement to the attack (Osama Bin Laden, Supporters of Sharia, Islamic Jihad, etc.) but on the other hand as far as I know, there is no direct evidence that can prove that these groups or somebody else is responsible for the attack. I can understand that some information is classified for the sake of the investigation, but still don’t we deserve any kind of satisfactory explanations that can make us understand what happens in our country.
People, who are claimed to be suspects, are being taken into custody since the investigations started and our authorities always claim that the trial will start soon, but nothing happens! How long are those suspects will stay in jail? What is the maximum time that we can keep a person in jail without a court order? Why there has been no case up to now? I understand that it is rather a complex and a difficult issue, but still it has been more than 6 months since the incident happened, and there is no result yet?
I believe that it is about time that our new government should make an announcement and explain the developments about the matter. Our new government is formed by capable people who love their country.
I would also like to ask many questions to our human rights and democracy champion friends, the Americans? How long can you hold an American citizen in custody without a trial? Why your internationally accepted human rights are not applied in my country, ain’t my people enough human beings as yours? Why the hotel you stay is closed to Yemenis? If one of our government vehicles were attacked in the US, would we have the same immunities to investigate the matter? Could we be able to hold the US citizens 6 months in custody without a court order? What are you doing in Aden and when are you going to leave my country?
Note: Taking this occasion I would like to congratulate all the members of our new cabinet and our wise President appointing all these wonderful people for their posts, moreover I wish all the best in their future work. We really expect a lot from them.