Yemeni ambassador to Damascus seeks asylum [Archives:2005/838/Front Page]

May 2 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
Mr. Ahmed Abdullah al-Hassani, Yemeni ambassador to Syria applied to the British government for asylum. It is not known yet whether his application was accepted or not.

The motive of this move, according to al-Hassani, was his “facing an assassination attempt by the Yemeni government.”

He told the London media on Friday that Yemeni authorities tried to assassinate him because he is member of an opposition movement (Southern Democratic Assembly) in south Yemen, which was declared in the British Capital on July 7, 2004 as an organization calling for the separation between the north and the south.

Al-Hassani further said that a friend of his had warned him earlier this year that Yemeni authorities were intending to murder him.

He imparted his concerns to Syrian authorities who reinforced him with personal security, said al-Hassani.

Yet, he accuses Yemeni intelligence of planting a bomb in front of his house in the Syrian capital on March 26, 2005.

Yemen Times contacted Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Abu Bakr al-Qirbi for further clarification.

“Al-Hassani is suffering from psychological disorder,” said Dr. al-Qirbi. “His being called back on the termination of his service term as an ambassador and according to diplomatic chord regulations worsened his state and forced him into asking for asylum from Britain.”

Al-Qirbi confirmed that al-Hassani's service term as an ambassador to Syria ended two months ago. He wanted it to be extended but was told that it goes against diplomatic chord regulations and that he must return to Sana'a.”

Ahmed Abdullah al-Hassani is from the Yemeni province of Abyan. After the Reunification, he was appointed as commander of Marine Forces but was later moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be employed as an ambassador to Damascus.

People from the southern provinces describe al-Hassani as being among the supporters of former President Ali Nasser Mohammed and that he was a notorious killer during the Brothers War of 1986 when he butchered many of Ali Salem al-Beedh's men.

“His hand was reddened with the blood of thousands of innocent people,” they say.