When the state has no wise security policies [Archives:2007/1093/Opinion]

October 11 2007

Ali Al-Sarari
When Sarkozy was serving as Interior Minister in France prior to his being elected President of the country, he addressed the security personnel, who moved to disperse protesters and rioters in suburbs of the capital Paris saying: “You have to treat protestors kindly since they are citizens too.”

People worldwide heard and saw on T.V. screens all the riots that took place in France over the past two years. Viewers worldwide also watched the damage to public and private property caused by the younger protestors, who came from different suburbs around the capital, but the French Interior Minister, expected to be the top official in charge of ordering the crackdown on rioters, advised his soldiers to respect protesters and rioters and treat them humanely.

We have never heard any interior minister giving such a piece of advice to security personnel under his command while going to disperse peaceful sit-ins in several governorates, even once, in Yemen's history. No advice of this kind has been given to soldiers tasked to disperse demonstrators, who claim their constitutional rights in a way complying with the effective laws.

Protesters streamed into streets of main cities in Yemen as they could no longer tolerate the government's barbaric policies and behavior toward government officials who neither considered their opinions nor promised to fulfill their demands and amend the false policies that made public and private property permissible for influential persons to loot them without an exception. Many senior government officials have never suggested alternatives to outstanding policies in order to ensure that human rights and dignity are respected.

When the oppressed citizens decided to stage sit-ins as legal means to voice their legal demands, the higher authorities sent troops to assault and arrest them without taking into consideration their humanity and dignity, nor did these authorities respect the law that grants all citizens equal rights in terms of treatment and self expression.

The forces, authorized to crack down on the peaceful sit-ins, destroyed all the rules of legitimacy and put themselves as an alternative to the legislative authority, as they nullify effective laws and legalize violence and barbarism. Indifference toward the legal system culminated with the episode of a Central Security officer who instigated his soldiers in public at their camp in Khor Maksar, Aden, to attack the MPs Ansaf Ali Mayo from the Islah Party and Dr. Mohammed Saleh Ali from the Yemeni Socialist Party. The officer said to his soldiers, “Do exploit any chance to beat both MPs severely,” confirming to them that he is ready to be held accountable for any consequences of violating the parliamentary immunity of both MPs. He justified his instigation saying that the two parliamentarians support apostasy and secession.

A few weeks ago, obedient security personnel kidnapped the journalistic writer, Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, and beat him mercilessly, alleging that he has the cheek to his masters. They threatened to kill him along with his wife and children if he returns to criticize performance of government institutions in his writings.

Over the past few weeks, policemen killed many protestors and injured dozens more. They also arrested hundreds of citizens before the peaceful sit-ins began. According to obtained information, the military and security bodies are preparing to introduce new forms and means of repression and hostile practices against peaceful demonstrators who claim their constitutional and legal rights and protest the skyrocketing prices of basic foodstuffs.

The Yemeni regime has proved that it has no wise policies or programs to run the country's affairs and address the persisting issues of its citizens. What this regime has or what it can do in order to manage the country's affairs is only subjugating and torturing innocent citizens, who claim their constitutional rights and voice their demands via peaceful means.

Ali Al-Sarari is a Yemeni Journalist and a well-known politician. He is the head of the information department at the Yemeni Socialist Party.

Source: Al-Nass Weekly