Yemeni opposition protest draft law against demonstrations [Archives:2002/52/Front Page]

December 23 2002

Eight Yemeni opposition parties have last week called on the parliament to reject a draft law preventing demonstrations without having permission.
The opposition parties say that the law would end public liberties. They expressed their concern of what they have considered as an attempt by the GPC, the major ruling party in Yemen, to confiscate democracy and restrain the freedom of expression.
The government had presented that law three years ago but felt obliged to withdraw it.
Local organizations also confirmed that the government’s aim behind the law was to distance itself from any angry reactions the masses may adopt over what is going on in Yemen and the region, saying that chaining the country with such a law would only represent a stand in anticipation of any domestic protest before taking place.
It is probable that the government’s aim behind these precautions is to avoid repetition of events when Yemenis took to the streets in demonstrations after Iraq invaded Kuwait and forced the government to adopt a stand contrary to political rule it had intended to play.