YEMEN’S POPULATION MENACE: 20 million in 2002; 27 in 2010 & 40 in 2020 [Archives:1999/11/Front Page]

March 15 1999

The Abyan and Aden courts say they have finished their proceedings on two separate cases. The first case involves 14 persons charged with kidnapping and hostage killing in Abyan, and the second one involves 10 persons charged with possession of arms with intent to undermine law and order.
Insiders say a “guilty” verdict is ready for announcement, and could be handed down as early as next week.
Given the many irregularities and violations during arrest, interrogation and trial, the verdict will not sit well with many circles. In fact, the families and lawyers of the accused have already made complaints against the integrity and propriety of the legal process.
Some senior Yemeni officials have reportedly intervened to prevent further complications in relations with the UK and international human rights organizations. “We should be looking for ways to redeem Yemen’s image rather complicate things further unjustifiably,” a senior source told Yemen Times.
As a compromise, two lines of action are reportedly being considered – either to water down the verdicts before they are announced, or to offer presidential pardons and/or reductions of sentences soon after the verdicts are announced.
Another totally different approach calls for the postponement of the verdict announcement till after the Eid Al-Adha – in three weeks. The idea is to buy more time, and reduce the level of public interest in the cases – locally and internationally.