Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

HRW: “The (Yemeni) Central Security Forces’ failure to stop the shooting suggests either gross negligence or complicity with the gunmen”

Filed under: Mahweet, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is a thorough summary of the March 18, 2011 massacre in Yemen including the literal firewall that kept protesters in the square after the snipers opened fire and the role of Yahya Saleh, head of one of the US supported CT units. The US desire to retain Yahya and Ahmed Ali in their roles as heads of the CT forces is one of the main obstacles to a peaceful transition of power so maybe Obama should sanction himself.

The March 18 massacre was so egregious and barbaric that half the corrupted regime defected to the side of the protesters. The US however withheld from calling for Saleh’s removal. In fact, US Def Sec Gates announced days later that the US had done no post-Saleh planning and, “We’ve had a good working relationship with President Saleh. He’s been an important ally in the counter-terrorism arena.”

BTW the son of the governor of Mahweet from post, Yemen: Son of governor escapes justice after massacre:

mahweetgovson.jpg

And yes, the US/SA/UN granted immunity for the Saleh regime does tend to complicate matters.

Yemen: Massacre Investigation Badly Flawed
Conduct New Probe Into 2011 Killings of 45 Protesters

(Sanaa, September 27, 2012) – The previous Yemeni government’s investigation into the so-called Friday of Dignity massacre on March 18, 2011, in Yemen’s capital is marred throughout by flaws and political interference, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Yemeni authorities should order a new inquiry into the attack, the deadliest by pro-government gunmen on protesters during the 2011 uprising, Human Rights Watch said. The attack in Sanaa killed 45 people and wounded up to 200 others, and became a symbol of resistance to then-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The criminal trial of 78 defendants in the case is scheduled to begin on September 29, 2012.

“The previous government’s investigation of the Friday of Dignity killings was deeply flawed and may have been a brazen attempt to shield government officials from prosecution,” said Letta Tayler, senior Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Yemen’s new government should demonstrate its commitment to justice for serious rights abuses by carrying out a new inquiry.” (Read on …)

Arrested Yemeni protesters electrocuted, whipped

Filed under: Civil Rights, Judicial, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 4:18 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012

At least 184 protesters are confirmed as “disappeared” and assumed to be under torture by security forces. My concern about the missing protesters since February 2011 has been the mass graves.

Yemen Post: A Yemeni human rights group, HOOD, revealed that 184 protesters enforcedly disappeared, emphasizing that no official authority has stated about their fate.

A senior officer of Hood, Abdul-Rahman Barman, said that the organization handed over a list of the disappeared names to the Interior Minister, pointing out that their families look for them everywhere and they become more worried every day.

Hood expressed deep concern about this case, demanding the newly-formed military commission to disclose the fate of these people enforcedly disappeared, stressing that the enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity.

One family had found out its relative in the morgue of Alshorta hospital six months after he was arrested by armed men loyal to the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen protesters had alleged that security and army services arbitrarily detained hundreds of peaceful protesters across the country, subjecting them to torture and ill-treatment, since anti-government demonstrations began in February 2011.

Some released prisoners affirmed that huge numbers of protesters and soldiers of the defected First Armored Division were being held in custodies belonging to military camps loyal to Saleh.

During several conferences held in Sana’a with some of freed prisoners, they made clear that they were subject to brutal forms of tortures, including electro-shock devices and beating with cables and whips after being blindfolded and handcuffed.

Yemenis have been demonstrating across the country demanding the release of detainees held by Security services which are still controlled by people loyal to Saleh.

The exact number of detainees being held by the authorities is unknown, but activists say that it could be as high as 1,400.

561 citizens killed in South Yemen protests 8/2007-2/2011 named

Filed under: Abyan, Lahj, Protest Fatalities, South Yemen, Yemen, al Dhalie — by Jane Novak at 5:31 pm on Friday, February 10, 2012

Victims of the Human Rights violations in South Yemen

The people of the South Yemen have on 13 of February each year day of the anniversary of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives and their blood for their country. We pray to God to accept them and admit them to be in peace and inspire and for their families’ patience and fortitude. The revival of that day is known by the people of the south and fulfillment and gratitude the sacrifices of martyr’s heroes. We are pledging them for liberalization, which they are ordained and martyred for it, sacrifice and redemption approach to achieve their goals in the return of their independent state.

For the documentation of the martyrs of the South, we are as Southern Observatory issued a list of the killed people with some information beginning on since the start of the peaceful southern movement on the seventh of July, 2007 this day approved February 11, 2012. Based on what was able to documentation these since its inception in February 2010, in addition to what motivated by documented sources. The number of killed in the South Yemen are five hundred and sixty one, and the Observatory calls to add the names of the killed people which they were not covered in this list.

Names of killed in South Yemen (2007-2012)

No. Name Date Province
1. Salah Saeed Alkahoom 01.09.2007 Hadramout
2. Walid Saleh Abadi 10.09.2007 Lahj
3. Mohamed Kaid Hamadi 10.09.2007 Lahj
4. Abdulnasse Hamada (Kiran) 13.10.2007 Lahj
5. Shaafik Haitham Hassan 13.10.2007 Lahj
6. Mohamed Naser Alamri 13.10.2007 Lahj
7. Fahmi Mohamed Algafari 13.10.2007 Lahj
8. Saeed Ali Almatas 21.10.2007 Shabwa
9. Saleh Abubaker Algafari 13.01.2008 Aden
10. Ahmed Ali Mohamed 13.01.2008 Aden (Read on …)

Yemen’s parliament’s term expired in 2011, so how did they grant Saleh immunity in 2012?

Filed under: GCC, Parliament, Post Saleh, Protest Fatalities, Trials, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There are many moves afoot within Yemen and internationally that dispute the unprecedented immunity deal for 33 years of Saleh’s crimes as well as that of his cohorts. However, the Yemeni parliament, that has been sitting since 2003, when it was elected to a four year term, was scheduled for elections in 2009 and voted itself a two year extension into 2011. I am checking but I can’t find anyone who recalls a new law being issued where they voted themselves another term extension.

(Update: the 2009 law grants a two year extension until they elect a new parliament in 2011, ambiguous language at best.

Update 2: a handy link from Yemen Parliament Watch that indicates parliament is operating outside the scope of the law: “The report indicated that the constitutional period of the parliament ended in February 2011 where the parliament had finished its six years stipulated constitution as well as the additional two years.”

Update 3: there is also a stipulation in the constitution that parliament can be extended when facing war, natural disaster or unrest, but I’m assuming that had to have been done formally, and within the scope of the term, not by some GPC mind meld.

Update 4: the amnesty was issued while Parliament was legally on vacation or in recess.)

Original post continues: A political deadlock ensued following the 2006 presidential election wherein the GPC thwarted the implementation of a proportional representation system (as opposed to a “winner takes all” single district method) and other electoral reforms, prompting the opposition JMP to boycott parliament altogether. Without the implementation of the previously agreed upon reforms, the parliament voted itself a two year extension and rescheduled elections for 2011. (In order to thwart elections in 2011, the SCER also disqualified the voter rolls en mass.) There was no new parliamentary election in 2011 and no official law passed rescheduling the election and extending their terms as far as I know. Therefore there is no legitimate Yemeni parliament, just a bunch of old men stuck to their chairs for a decade.

So where is the legal foundation of this expired parliament’s vote to give the Sanaa regime immunity? More fundamentally, the people withdrew legitimacy from the Parliament, the Sanaa regime and dysfunctional political party system through a year of mass nationwide protests.

However, while many are working on the issue of Saleh’s immunity, I am much more concerned with the implementation of the proportional representative system in order to undermine the hegemony of both the GPC and Islah who were both artificially empowered by the GCC plan. Proportional representation will allow for the growth of new parties, minority representation and probably more women in political office. It appears that the only way to get the task done is through a public referendum, as the same illegitimate GPC dominated parliament that stalled on the issue for five years will likely continue to block it.

The proportional system has a national consensus, and it has been repeatedly been endorsed by a variety of Yemeni groups from the JMP in 2005 to the tribally based National Dialog Committee in 2009 to the Yemeni Youth Revolution that took to the streets in 2011.

Had the PR system been enacted as agreed upon in 2006, allowing for authentic political growth and representative parties to compete in 2009, the revolution might not have been necessary. So its important not to allow history to repeat itself, especially with this crucial and long overdue element of the overall package of electoral reform.

There is more on the other illegalities of the unprecedented and illegal amnesty plan below from Human Rights Watch and the YCTJ:

Press Release
By The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice Concerning the Approval of the House of Representatives of the Immunity Law

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice reviewed the law approved by the House of Representatives (Parliament) of the Republic of Yemen concerning the award of immunity to the President of the Regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh and his supporters. As YCTJ confirms its previous position with respect to this law, that the law lacks the minimum principles of human justice, and is openly in violation of honorable Islamic Jurisprudence, international laws, and is in breach of the international human rights conventions/agreements to which Yemen is signatory, YCTJ now also calls for the application of real true transitional justice without any selectivity, forgery or deliquescent.
(Read on …)

Yemenis protest US ambassador, demand explusion

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Taiz, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:08 pm on Friday, December 30, 2011

Today, #Yemeni protesters held banners calling for US ambassa... on Twitpic

Today, Yemeni protesters held banners calling for US ambassador to be expelled. Even an apology is no longer enough.

http://youtu.be/2u6W-Tov7OQ

Yemeni protesters calls for US Ambassador’s dismissal

Filed under: Diplomacy, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:37 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The CCYRC issued a letter reminding the US President that the Yemeni protesters oppose and are not a signatory to the GCC deal. the group calls for an official apology from the US as they say Ambassador Feierstein uniformly rude, disrespectful and insulting to the Yemeni people and has acted as the Saleh regime’s advocate and protector and with flagerant disregard for democratic principles. In particular the CCYRC condemn Feierstein’s most recent inflammatory statement wherein the Ambassador said the Life March was not a inherently peaceful as it was designed to provoke violence. Within hours, state forces killed 12 marchers.

The ambassador’s statement is below and I was waiting for an English transcript issued by the embassy but there doesn’t appear to be one coming. I find it unbelievable that the US Ambassador would demand political passivity from the Yemeni public. He blamed the peaceful marchers for any violence and chaos that the march triggers, which is akin to calling Dr. Martin Luther King an instigator of chaos and implying that the US civil rights marchers should have stayed home or that Medger Evans was responsible for his own murder because of his activism.

Al-Ariky Al-Mohammed By: توكل كرمان Tawakkol Karman
// translated from Arabic

The U.S. Ambassador in Sana’a is a devil’s advocate and friend of the criminal thugs!!
—–
Online social and news networks lately have been talking about the comments made by the U.S ambassador in Yemen on the violence that accompanied the march of life that came from the city of Taiz on foot which led to the killing of more than thirteen and injuring hundreds. The U.S ambassador said that the march of life « was not peaceful »; He added “the protester had no intention of a peaceful march and they intended to reach Sana’a and cause trouble which would provoke and lead the security forces to respond with violence”. (Read on …)

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