Yahia Al-Hothi to Yemen Times:”We want no clashes with the authorities, or to enter into any quarrels with” [Archives:2005/852/Reportage]

June 20 2005

The crisis between the Government and the Believing Youth, which is lead by Al-Hothi, is still continuing, in spite of the relatively calm situation. The Government has proposed eight terms to end the crisis, while the Hothists have six. Among these terms are:

-Declaration of amnesty

-The release of hundreds of the detainees of the believing youths and to give them their jobs back.

Yahia Al-Hothi, member of parliament and a member of PGC, the son of cleric Badredeen Al-Hothi, Who is now in Sweden, tried to shed light on some of the parts of the crisis, and how to resolve it through an interview via the internet. Mohamed Bin Salaam of the Yemen Times carried out the interview, here are the details

Q: What about the eight conditions that were set by the Authorities as a way out of this crisis ?

A: In dealing with the Authorities we don't need any conditions, let the Authorities set the conditions they want, as long as they are for our good and for the good of the people ,and if they are compatible with our constitutional rights, though I noticed the incredibility of the Authorities . During our eager efforts to resolve the crisis, we found that we were used as a trap for our people. They used to be ambushed and killed ,as it was the case of the helicopter incident, which we were taking to Maran mountain. At that time my brother Hussien Alhothi agreed to a cease fire. He gave his orders that the helicopter should not be fired at ,as it was carrying the expanded mediation committee, sent by the President. They were, clerics, Mohamed Al-Mansour, Ahmed Al- Shami besides the Sheikhs and brigadier generals. We were at Haidan, when ,to our surprise, we saw three military helicopters shelling the defenders in Jabal Alhakami. Eight men were killed. There are also other incidents. However we are with any true initiative, local or international

Q: One of the conditions states that ” If you have the desire to form a political party you should declare that, with a pledge to observe the constitution, law and order ,or you can join a party you choose what do you think?

A: We know we can make a party as the constitution guarantees. We had the experience of forming a party before, together with, cultural and social societies, but the authorities had made plots against us, and on all the societies we declared, however small, peaceful and transparent they were. . I believe you remember the security problems we had faced, starting from 1992 up to 1995.. They used to release convicted murderers on condition that they should fight against us. Military campaigns used to patrol our area in Hamdan, Kholan Amir ,and Razih. Many innocent people were imprisoned, because they were members of Al- Hag party. We were forced to abandon the party. Now we have no desire to make a party. We want no clashes with the authorities, or to enter into any quarrels with.

Q: In your opinion, who instigates against you and your kins? In short, who is interested in prohibiting the existence of your missionary activity?

A: First I think the authority was in need of a scape goat, as Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar, the Speaker of the parliament told us. . It found that we were the least expensive. Secondly, There are others who benefit from the wars, and trade on them, on the expense of the people. Those are inside the military and security forces. They exploit the blood shed and the miseries of the people to build their palaces

Thirdly. There are the fanatic expiatory groups, who seek to adopt Taliban barbaric, backward methods of rule. They have their effect on the authority's mentality. . It adopted their expiatory methods, as it is noticed in their press, although these fanatical groups are seeking to spread terrorism, not only in Yemen, but in the neighboring countries, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and others. I think you saw the ugly disaster they inflicted within the communities, even here in Europe, as those of the passenger train in Spain. They fear the Easterners here, and consider them as savages. We didn't practice any hostility against them. Those who lived with us know it, and it is the evidence of history.

Q: What is your visions to end the war, that is going on in Sa'ada for some months?

A: The Authority should treat us as citizens with the full rights that are granted to us by the constitution ,The Sharia law and the Humanitarian charters. It should also abide by the reconciliation that it committed itself to ,and which we carried out, while it chose to go war. I see also the soundness of the suggestion of Mohamed Almaqaleh in Al-Shoura newspaper, issue number 506, in which he said,: “The Authority should stop the war right away and seeks seriously to contain its aftermath or else the international community will inevitably intervene.

Q: It is rumored that, the Islah party's leadership has asked the President during a meeting with him, a few days ago, to give them a free hand in Sa'ada and Hajah Governorates, to refigure them culturally according to the (Wahabi) creed, as a part of a political deal. What do you say to that ?

A: We don't find any problem in the presence of any movement whatever their orientation is. The Islah do not need permission from the authorities. They are already in Sa'ada for a long time now, and they are coordinating with the authorities. We welcome them in Sa'ada, but what we really blame the government for, is its double standard treatment. The Islah Party receives subsidies from the government. The government open our mosques for them ,though it knows very well that they are our ancestors' endowments. An example of this is Al-Iman University site, which was granted to them by the President. This site is a legacy endowment from our grandfather Al-Motahar. We don't want to exchange swearwords, or use the expiatory expressions, which they often use against us. They do that, encouraged by the government, in order to do us harm.

Q 6 – Did you request asylum in Sweden ?What countries, so far, has offered to grant you asylum?

A: The State here respects individuals. They are sympathizing with us As for the asylum, if I ask it, it is sure to be welcomed. Some countries are ready to help us.

Q7- Have you got any relation with the opposition outside Yemen? If not, do you intend to join any in the future?

A: We are read y to cooperate with all the political movements, whether they are in the Government or in the opposition. As long as this is for the good of the county and the peace and the liberty of our people

Q: What is the outcome of your contacts with the Great Powers?

A: We made a good progress. Many of the International organizations and the International courts that we have contacted understood the immensity of our case. They are now showing concern, and I think you saw the Amnesty International 2005 report.