Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemen Defense Min targeted for assassination for 7th time, AQAP raid

Filed under: Ministries, Post Saleh, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The assassination spree by the al Qaeda hit squad, or some mercenary facsimile thereof, continues with a gusto. Security officers are targeted and killed in the south with alarming regularity, about once a week. The pattern is highly reminiscent of the period between unity (1990) and the civil war (1994) when al Qaeda targeted YSP leaders and over 150 were killed. The 1994 document of Pledge and Accord begins by demanding Saleh stop employing terrorists and terrorism against southerners to achieve his political goals, but he never did.

The deposed (half of the) Saleh dictatorship continued to conduct false flag attacks (pipelines anyone?) or hired al Qaeda types or used intelligence officers disguised as AQ to conduct operations against internal rivals or to shift the political winds. Its not only a matter of exploiting al Qaeda attacks to gain international support; its also a matter of ordering them.

When is the US going to talk about the tourist murders and the plots against the British ambassador or the South Korean officials as Saleh’s foreign policy in action? Much, maybe most, of the al Qaeda violence in Yemen is self-generated, but some is designed. Its a good thing the US remembered belatedly to add the terrorism exclusion to Saleh’s immunity deal.

Sana’a: Yemen’s Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday near his home located in the capital city of Sana’a, Xinhua reported. A car bomb was discovered near Ahmed’s house and was removed before it could explode, said police sources.

This was the seventh occasion when militants, suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), targeted the defence minister since the interim Yemeni government came into existence last December.

On Sep 11, a car bomb attack targeting the defence minister’s motorcade in Sana’a killed 12 people, including his seven bodyguards. The minister was critically injured in his chest, with his face bruised

They probably saved a lot of lives by rolling this one up. The gas cylinders were first used in Yemen in the 2005 twin attacks on the oil facilities.

Reuters: Army and security forces raided a house in the southern province of Aden at dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers were wounded.

“A large amount of various explosives was found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,” the Defense Ministry website quoted a security source as saying.

The house, in Mansoura city, was used as a headquarters for al Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said.

Security forces seized documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said.

A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.

Good news from Yemen: Ali al Ansi’s last day as head of National Security, updates

Filed under: Biographies, Counter-terror, Ministries, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 5:26 am on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The National Security was created in 2002 at the prompting of the US because the PSO was so corrupt and subverted. Ali al Ansi was the head of Saleh’s presidential office since the 1980’s. Today is Al Ansi’s last day, AlMasdar reports. Its great news.

The new head of the Natl Sec is Dr. Hassan Al Ahmedi who was the governor of Shabwa and has a background in economics. Maybe since he is not connected to the security establishment, he’s do a good job. Or at least look at allocating resources in a rational way that addresses the intended function of the National Security. No one could do worse than al Ansi who controlled the airport and had a habit of pulling journos and activists off the plane on their way to international conferences but let the terrorists board.

More good news: Hadi to appoint 29 new ambassadors and refuses to split the posts between the GPC and JMP. Woot. Hyper-politicalization in Yemen is one root of fractures, stalemate and corruption.

ChiTrib:SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen will investigate alleged human rights violations that occurred during an uprising last year, officials said on Wednesday, possibly opening the way to prosecution of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his relatives.

Saleh and his immediate family obtained immunity from prosecution under Yemeni law under a U.S.-backed deal sponsored by Yemen’s Gulf neighbors last year in return for the veteran president’s departure from office. He stepped down in February.

Thousands of protesters have demanded that the immunity be scrapped. The cabinet decision to set up a committee of inquiry followed months of wrangling within the government.

“The committee is responsible for probing the allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that occurred in 2011, impartially and independently,” state news agency Saba said.

A government official, who asked not to be named, said the decision emerged from an intense, five-month-long debate in the cabinet, which is divided between members of Saleh’s party and his opponents as stipulated by the power transfer deal.

“It was a fight in the cabinet,” he said, adding that the outcome was partly due to a “big push” by the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar.

The official said the inquiry would investigate whether criminal charges over deaths and injuries could be pressed. It would be complemented by a transitional justice law which parliament could pass this month.

Saleh’s successor, Abd-Rabbu Hadi, was expected to issue a decree setting up the inquiry this month, the official said.

Link dump:
CNN: In Yemen, protests mask diverse views on anti-Islam video

Wharton: Interview w/ Taiz governor formerly of of Hayel Saed Anam Inc, In Yemen, a Different Kind of Battle: Getting People Trained and Finding Good Bureaucrats

Feierstein says US will not grant visa to Saleh during current period, and he should be exiled or remain out of politics at least. Since when? I can pull up interview after interview where Feierstein he says (rather defensively or dismissively if I recall) the dictator can Saleh can stay in Yemen and is certainly welcome remain active in politics like any citizen. Mareb Press: the Embassy that the U.S. government had informed the former president Ali Saleh that it can not grant a visa to enter the U.S. territory during the current period. Gerald considered that the colossal mistake committed by the drafters of the Gulf initiative not demanding former President Saleh to leave political life.

Saba: Hadi to DC NY September 27, I am happy to welcome a Yemeni president to the United States in my lifetime. If he was going to be at the embassy, I’d send flowers.

RE the following: There’s a term used to describe diplomats who lose objectivity, “going native”. It describes Former Ambassador Barbara Bodine and her bias in favor of the Saleh regime during her term, and after, and perhaps Ambassador Feierstein as well. In their case though it could be called “going tribal”. The following is written by Iona Craige:

Foreign Policy Mag: Then, without so much as a raised hand from the soldiers, protesters walked straight though the gaps between the yellow and black striped blocks. Like a gentleman holding a door open for a lady, the soldiers, with their AK-47s slung over their shoulders, stepped back, letting the chanting mob through. And as the angry mob marched further towards the embassy building itself the soldiers walked with them, some even smiling.

Yemen’s Central Security Forces, created by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, remain under the command of his nephew Brig. Gen. Yahya Saleh, who enjoyed a warm relationship with the U.S. embassy here in Sanaa for years. The U.S.-trained and funded counterterrorism troops also fell under his command. The relationship had been a necessary close one in America’s strategy to combat the country’s notorious al Qaeda network.

On the day this February when his uncle handed over power to the country’s new president, Abdu Rabu Mansu Hadi, at the presidential palace, Yahya and U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein greeted each other like old friends. With laughter and a firm, lingering handshake, they clasped each other’s elbows in the midst of a packed room of dignitaries and a throng of domestic and international media. (Read on …)

Justice Minister gets death threat after statement about seizing former regime’s funds

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Judicial, Ministries, Post Saleh, assassination, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Sunday, September 16, 2012

Many ranking members of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s former regime made millions through corruption, embezzlement and fraud. The Obama administration continuously blocked all efforts to freeze Saleh’s funds in addition to providing him political cover. Every now and then somebody mumbles something about sanctioning those who block the political transition at the same time that its clear the purse of Saleh et al is what is funding the counter-revolution, like Saddam and the Fedayeen.

Alsahwah.net- Minister of Justice Murshid Al-Arashani received threats of killing by unknown persons on Friday.

A source of the ministry said that they received a letter on late Friday in which the minister was threatened with assassination.

These threats came after Al-Arashani said on Tuesday that Yemen prepares to pursue funds that were looted by the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides.

In a forum held in Qatar on recovering frozen assets of fallen Arab autocrats, Al-Arashani stressed that those officials who looted funds of the Yemeni people will be hunted through mechanisms of civil laws.

Counterfeit currency stolen during occupation of Yemeni Interior Ministry

Filed under: Ministries, Security Forces, counterfeiting — by Jane Novak at 2:44 pm on Thursday, August 16, 2012

Now that makes sense:

Yemen Observer: 8/11/12: The Central Bank of Yemen issued a warning on Sunday to banks and exchange offices after it was established that counterfeit high-resolution currency had entered the market.

The alert came after the Interior Ministry revealed that criminals broke into its evidence room and stolen a large stash of counterfeited money last week when armed clashes erupted in between tribesmen, the Central Security Forces and men attached to the 1st Armored Brigade, led by renegade General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

The Interior Ministry said it was now working at arresting the culprits.

Tribesmen hired for pro-Saleh protests in 2011 seize IM building in Yemen

Filed under: Ministries, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:00 pm on Monday, July 23, 2012

There are the bullies who occupied the pro-Saleh square in Sanaa for pay, qat and a promise of a job:

Mohammed Jamjoom ‏@JamjoomCNN

#Yemen Govt Official said men who seized Int Min r tribesmen who were recruited onto police force last yr by relative of former pres Saleh

(Reuters) – About 100 armed tribesmen loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh stormed the Interior Ministry building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday demanding to be enlisted in the police force, an official said.
(Read on …)

Yemen intel chief’s disinfo in cadet attack

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Yemen, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:06 am on Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yemen president launches investigation into cadet attack 14/07/2012

The Yemini Interior Ministry announced that president Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi has formed an investigative committee in order to probe regarding a bombing in Sana’a that killed 10 police cadets this week after the panel misidentified the bomber, media reported on Friday. (Read on …)

Inventory of military an excellent first step, next Youth auditors?

Filed under: Military, Ministries, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Thursday, March 8, 2012

In order to restructure the military, the transitional govt needs to know what exists and where; a US congressional report in 2009ish found that the Yemeni CT forces and military could not account for or locate some equipment granted as US military assistance. Furthermore, direct and brokered Yemeni arms purchases are sometimes sold in bulk to the black market, and individual soldiers (who sometimes aren’t paid for months) have been known to sell their weapons.

In reality, all ministries and government offices should be subject to an inventory (including cars). However, considering the gargantuan levels of corruption and mismanagement at all levels, a secondary audit is imperative. Asking the people responsible for the embezzlement to count the inventory is a recipe for more subterfuge.

A secondary audit of the inventory would be a good job for the revolutionaries, many of whom have accounting and computer degrees. As outsiders they would be independent, and its a good method to enfranchise them in the transition process while generating trust through transparency. International assistance by experienced accountants of the process may also increase the Yemeni auditors skill levels and employ-ability. Of course the US will be embarrassed by how much of its intended CT aid was stolen, diverted and/or resold, but sunlight is good for everybody.

Its very important however to standardized the inventory process regionally and from ministry to ministry–from the beginning. Starting with compatible processes, methods, computer systems and software is essential. For example, Yemen’s years long difficulty in generating stats and paperwork on the Somali refugees arises in large part from technical obstacles generated by using different accounting methods, incompatible databases and different computer systems, both vertically and horizontally. This impending pitfall is easily overcome with a little forethought at this point.

al Sahwa, President directs to count properties of military

Alsahwah.net- Yemen President Abdu-Rabo Mansour Hadi has directed on Wednesday the Defense Ministry to form technical committees to count the properties of the army in a move that precede the reconstruction of the military and end the division.

Meanwhile, the government tasked the Oil and Mineral Minister, Hisham Sharaf, to appoint a new director-general of the Oil Petroleum Company after the resignation of the former director in response to waves of protests by the employees of the company.

According to the Yemeni News Agency, Saba, military commanders held on Wednesday a meeting presided by the Defense Minister Ahmed Nasser Ahmed. The meeting discussed the counting of the military’s properties and how to halt the squandering of the public resources.

Also see “Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen Carnegie 2009

Microcosism of intra-institutional rivalry hampering progress in Yemen

Filed under: Local gov, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:30 pm on Monday, February 6, 2012

The governor of Aden resigned in protest of the protesters’ mass fatalities in March 2011. VP Haid re-appointed him recently. The deputy governor Abdul-Karim Shaif and other GPC officials boycotted a security meeting Saturday and stormed the governor’s office with armed men on Sunday, stealing the official stamps and cutting off funding at the bank, via Yemen Post.

Yemen’s government is a hyper-political configuration wherein all state institutions and bureaucracies became an extension of the GPCs power. That is one reason I suggested early last year suspending the established political parties during the transition period, which would also give new parties a chance to develop real constituencies. Instead the current configuration as outlined by the GCC deal attempts to re-balance or tip the gridlock between the GPC and the JMP.

These are the two entities that were unable to agree on (previously agreed upon) electoral reforms from 2006-2011, there was not one shred of progress, not even the most basic reform was enacted. If they keep thwarting the transition maybe its time to go back to my idea from 2007, Disband the GPC. The problem is the GPC is the counter to Islah, so if they both take a two year hiatus, it might allow some breathing room.

To follow is my 2007 article that lays out part of the configurations in place then that are hampering progress now. Published at World Press 9/2/07, the article, written two months after the first southern protest, was disparaged because I said there were simmering tensions in the south: It wasn’t possible to disband the GPC five years ago but I wanted people to for once imagine a world without it in order to better see its hegemony in day to day life.

Disband Yemen’s Ruling Party

Since Yemen’s presidential election last September, the nation is experiencing several areas of instability. Crisis areas include the fourth recurrence of the Saada war in North Yemen, popular protests in the former South Yemen, hostile tribal posturing, and the resurgence of terror attacks directed at the state. One causal factor common to all these conflicts is institutionalized inequality or state discrimination. This inequality is also the foundation of massive corruption that is destroying Yemen. With elitism so engrained and corruption so pervasive, structural reform is nearly impossible. One solution may be to dissolve the national mechanisms that function to perpetuate inequality and enable corruption, starting with Yemen’s ruling party.

Hopes generated before Yemen’s 2006 presidential election were dashed in its wake. Oppositionists were disappointed that the election was a pantomime of democracy with state resources overwhelmingly supporting President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the victor and incumbent of 28 years. Saleh’s supporters were disappointed when his expansive election platform produced few tangible results upon his reelection. In fact, the situation worsened for the average Yemeni with prices rocketing higher. (Read on …)

HR Min Mansour to form independent commission to investigate HR crimes in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Judicial, Ministries, Tribes, Yemen, hostages, prisons — by Jane Novak at 7:43 pm on Thursday, February 2, 2012

She’s doing well and going in the right directions (for example closing private prisons) but the question is whether she will be allowed to cross the red lines or thwarted by ye ol powerful and guilty persons even though they have immunity. On a related note, on e report holds that Gen Kiran got a false passport and is planning to escape Yemen. Beyond his recent crimes against protesters in Aden and Taiz, Kiran also has a court case pending for the death by torture of Ahmed Darwish in an Aden prison cell.

Yemen Post: Yemen Human Rights Horia Mashhoor said on Wednesday that an independent commission will be formed with the aim of investigating violations committed against human rights since the outbreak of anti-regime protests in last February.

“Probes about killing of protesters in Sana’a , Taiz and Abyan lack transparency, and Yemen’s judiciary lack enough fairness,” she added.

In her meeting with Middle East and North Africa director of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy(NED) Abdul Rahman Al-Jubouri, she made clear that Yemen needs special legalizations that cope with international laws.

Mashhoor revealed that the ministry seeks to hold a national dialogue conference to solve Yemen’s problems and come up with joint national views on human rights.

She revealed that Human Rights Ministry would be shifted to an independent supreme authority which enjoys impartiality.

For his part, Al-Jabouri stressed that NED seeks to help Yemen in the field of enacting legislations of the constitution and election laws, pointing out that NED would support and train the consultative body belonging to the Human Rights through Ministry.

In an interview with the state-run 26 September newspaper, Mashhoor made reference to the existence of a big gap between laws and their application on the ground.

Mashhoor has said she seeks to shut down private custodies (ed-private prisons) run by some officials and tribal leaders, stressing that the existence of such custodies contradicts Yemen laws and international conventions.
Mashhoor has vowed to release all political prisoners held in security forces.

Separately, Mashour stated that Yemen’s high-ranking officials take over 90 percent of allowances and benefits allocated to government ministries while low-ranking employees get nothing.

She affirmed that Yemen’s financial systems encourage corruption, demanding to carry out significant financial reforms.

Interview with Yemeni Human Rights Minister Hooria Mansour

Filed under: Civil Rights, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:53 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Excellent interview!! Ms Mansour has a big job and perhaps it is the most critical ministry. If respect for human rights is the linchpin of the new Yemen, then she is correct, the youth will be satisfied, AQAP’s reach will diminish and the free market economy can take root.

Yemen Fox: Houria Mashhoor is one of Yemeni women who rebelled against Yemeni traditions and decided to take part in everything that used to be restricted to men.

Mashhoor is a Yemeni influential politician who is reputed to have neutral positions; even though she was a part of the previous regime.

Mashhoor has defected to the Yemeni revolution and become the spokeswoman for the youth revolutionary council. After the Saudi-brokered initiative had been signed in November, the conciliatory government was formed accordingly and Mashhoor was among the ministers who have been nominated. (Read on …)

Bios new cabinet in Yemen

Filed under: Biographies, Ministries, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:37 pm on Monday, December 12, 2011

By National Yemen

He was born in 1935 in the city of Aden in south Yemen. He finished high school in Aden and then worked as an importer and exporter of dried fish to Sri Lanka. (Read on …)

Former Yemeni PM Mujawar returns to Sanaa

Filed under: Ministries, Sana'a, Transition, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 5:59 pm on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CNN: Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar was back in Sanaa Tuesday for the first time since he was seriously injured in the presidential palace bombing last June, according to sources at the airport in the capital.

Thousands of pro-government supporters welcomed him back.

Mujawar was being treated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He’s the first senior official to come back to Sanaa from Riyadh since more than 35 senior officials were taken to the Saudi capital for medical treatment more than two months ago.

Mass graves and expired gas canisters in the Yemen revolution: HOOD publishes documents

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Monday, May 16, 2011

The documents HOOD published were translated by Yemen Rights Monitor, an excellent site in English to follow all the news of the rev.

Regarding the heightened and unusual effects of the tear gas on the protesters, it says in document that the smoke bombs are expired and cause long term health problems, addressed to the interior minister Rashad Al-Masri.

I wrote about a mass grave in Aden in February and as well as later reports of security forces kidnapping wounded protesters to artificially reduce the number of fatalities.

Hood also spoke of its possession of official documents reveal the crimes committed by official orders and official complicity to conceal, other crimes committed, related to some political backgrounds.
Hood confirmed that it received information and testimonies written and documented about the central security forces and gunmen in civilian clothes attacking the demonstrators with live bullets, sharp weapons and poison gas on Saturday night 04/09/2011 in Zubairy Street and Ring Road, which led to the downfall of a number of dead and wounded. Hood quoted witnesses saying that “Nearly 20 people were pulled to some personnel carriers and government vehicles transferred to an unknown destination and their injuries were at the head, neck, chest, abdomen and some of them had died.” Also, confirmed that it had received “certificates for a mass graves in the area of “ Bait Boss , body parts were found in trash barrels in that area, it is believed it belong to protesters who were arrested during the massacre of Kentucky Round in Sana’a. Attorney General has received a notification of this.”
Below is the doctors’ report on the body parts found in Beit Bous.

Yemen denies authenticity of documents authorizing weapons distribution

Filed under: Civil Society, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:16 pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011

Without the testimony of the person who provided them to Marib Press, its hard to authenticate. But there are anecdotal reports by eyewitnesses who saw weapons being given out from cars.

Yemeni officials deny press report on distributing weapons
Saturday 07 May 2011 202011000000Sat, 07 May 2011 20:32:12 +0300 08 PM / 26 September Net

Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Rashad al-Alimi and Minister of State for Parliamentary and Shura Council Affairs Ahmed al-Kuhlani have expressed regret about a forged document spread by Marebpress website that they were involved in distributing weapons to pro-government people. (Read on …)

Hamoud al Hittar, head of Yemen’s Al Qaeda rehab, says Saleh insincere

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Presidency, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just think! If Saleh goes quickly, then maybe Obama can return the Yemeni prisoners and close Gitmo before the presidential election in 2012!

News Yemen: Former minister of endowment Hamoud al-Hittar, who also headed a committee for dialogue with militants in Yemen for years, said President Saleh is not committed to fighting al-Qaeda in the country.

Al-Hittar said that President Saleh uses al-Qaeda threat to blackmail Arab and foreign countries to get more assistance. He said that al-Qaeda in Yemen is only 10 percent of what was reported by official media.

In his speech to almost one million anti-regime protesters in Change Square outside Sana’a University on “Friday of Steadiness”, al-Hittar assured Arab and foreign countries that Yemen will be able to put end to terrorism after the popular revolution succeeds and President Saleh stands down. He also said that Yemen will remain an active partner of the international community in counterterrorism in accordance with Yemen’s constitution, law and international legislation.

Al-Hittar urged Gulf countries to support the popular revolution and could confirm that Yemen will respect relationships with Gulf countries.

Al Qirby- deal could be struck today, update: denies statement

Filed under: Diplomacy, JMP, Ministries, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:51 am on Saturday, March 26, 2011

Now he says hes staying until 2013!

A clear overview of the whole picture from: Walid al Saqqaf.

Update: al Qirby denies the Reuters report, saying it was an inaccurate quote. The blame game now settles on the GPC That’s why Saleh reversed his decision not to run in 2006, the GPC begged him to be their candidate as there was no one else in the entire party with the capacity to run Yemen. Imagine how much better off Yemen would be now if Saleh had kept his word, but I guess you cant think like that, Saleh never keeps his word. I really hope he doesn’t set fire to Yemen on the way out. The longer this takes, the more nervous its making me.

SANAA (Reuters) – A deal on a peaceful transition of power in Yemen could come as early as Saturday and would be based on an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down by year-end, Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said…”I hope it will be today, before tomorrow,” Qirbi, who is serving as caretaker foreign minister, told Reuters in an interview, adding that the time frame of a transfer of power by Saleh could be negotiated.

Saleh, who oversaw the 1990 unification of north and south Yemen and emerged victorious from a civil war four years later, told tribes in Sanaa on Saturday that he would “work to avoid bloodshed using all possible means.”

He said on Friday he was ready to relinquish power to forestall more bloodshed but only to what he called “safe hands” after weeks of street demonstrations demanding his departure. (Read on …)

Yemeni military officers and officials resign en masse, the post Saleh era begins

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:31 am on Monday, March 21, 2011

A truly insightful analysis by Dr. Abdullah al faqih.

Update: National Security forces break into al Jazeera offices in Sanaa and steal equipment, a possible foreshadowing of dire events to follow. Minister of Water and Environment Abdulrahman Al-Iryani wrote a letter apologizing to the protesters. If the entire government resigns and joins the protesters, then the protests didn’t drive the elite out of power. CNN: Ali Mohsen negotiating with Saleh for a transition by the end of the year. This is just more maneuvering to keep the powerful in power, they are going out the front door and in the back. Ali Mohsen has to go on the same plane as Saleh

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a top military general are discussing a deal for a peaceful transition of power that would allow Saleh to stay in place for the rest of the year, a Yemeni official and senior U.S. official said Monday. The discussions come amid cracks in support for Saleh’s 32-year rule after weeks of anti-government protests.

Three top generals declared their support for the protests Monday, including Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, the man now discussing the deal with Saleh. Al-Ahmar, who belongs to an important tribe whose backing is significant for Saleh, also said he will order his troops to protect civilians demonstrating against the president….

According to the Yemeni official who confirmed the talks between Saleh and the general, the president has officially accepted five points demanded by the opposition and is now waiting for a response from the opposition and the generals who defected.

The five points are that Saleh step down by the end of the year; that Yemenis be allowed to protest without fear of violence; that a committee be formed to investigate attacks against protesters; that families of all protesters killed or wounded be compensated by the state; and that the government implement constitutional and electoral reforms, including the removal of Saleh’s family members from the armed services.

Update: Mass resignations continue from all levels of government. Yemen TV is showing old videos of crowds chanting for Saleh as live, but they were shot during the day while it is night time in Yemen now.

The former GPC members (the ruling GPC party has apparently dissolved after mass resignations) are forming a new coalition to come in through the back door. So far no violence but they like to do these things in the middle of the night. (Read on …)

Saleh fires government amid wave of defections

Filed under: Ministries, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:10 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Update: the former regime officials are becoming desperate to re-write the past and cast themselves as the lone beacon of integrity in a sea of corruption. Its amazing the way the long time officials and associates of a mass murderer and criminal are now disassociating themselves once the tide turned against the regime. Hopefully they will all stand trial for their complicity in the crimes of the Saleh regime.

Saleh fired his government ministers and asked them to continue to work as the wave of protests grows against him. Saleh has reshuffled the cabinet several times over the years, usually it is a way to divert blame and/or undercut reformers. This time he may be firing them before they all resign. After the slaughter in Sanaa Friday, Faisel abu Rais, who resigned from parliament in 2007, resigned as Yemen’s ambassador to Lebanon. Human Rights Minster Huda al Ban resigned, and (**** I’m being nice. Don’t test me.) Clerics urged the military not to fire on protesters. “Dr. Hassan Salami, Shura Council member resigned from the membership of the Standing Committee of the ruling National Congress Party to protest the lack of respect for the Constitution and the law, and the appalling violation of human rights including the massacre of peaceful protestors long before the University of Sana’a.” Sadiq al Ahmar head of the Hashid demanded Saleh resign but Saleh retains significant support from his tribe.

Saleh remains delusional, says to nation that the protesters are a small percentage of Yemenis, only he can rule and the JMP has bad intentions. The state announced 19 snipers had been arrested. To the European ambassadors, he said he is committed to democratic values. Anyone who believes anything Saleh says is delusional as well.

The Central Security Forces withdrew from al Tagheer Sqyare in Sanaa, and General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s 1st Armored Brigade took over duties around the protesters in Sanaa/ There have been no incidents yet.

US policy on the middle east as outlined by William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs in a statement before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on March 17 doesn’t mention Yemen at all.

There was a mass funeral march today in Sanaa, although many of the fatalities will be buried in their hometowns: Taiz, Arhab and Amran. Several injuries were reported after protests yesterday in Makallah.

ah a handy summary:

Sahwa Net- Yemen U.N. envoy Abdullah Alsaidi and the Minister of Human Rights Huda Alban have declared his resignation in protest over violence against peaceful protestors in Sana’a on Friday. (Read on …)

Saleh fires Min. of Endowments, al Hittar, and Monday updates

Filed under: Ministries, Religious, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:17 am on Monday, March 14, 2011

Does Saleh think he can dialog with the nation the way he dialoged with al Qaeda? Al Hittar, who was head of the Ministry of Endowments, had previously engaged in Koranic dialog with al Qaeda to show them the error of their ways. The process was described as a charade by several former prisoners. Judge al Hittar extracted promises from 341 al Qaeda operatives to remain loyal to Saleh in exchange for their release from jail. Many turned to external jihad, some re-integrated with society and some became productive members of AQAP. The program was discontinued in 2005 after complaints from the US that graduates of the program were turning up in Iraq. So in Saleh’s deformed brain, this was the best man to convince the protest leaders to dialog. However, the JMP are not the protest leaders. BTW, the ministry of endowments has a lot of corruption, selling state land very cheep to elite, as well as its own private prison. Update: al Hittar says he resigned in protest of the civilian deaths and others in Ibb resigned from the GPC.

This is a brilliant comment from a Yemeni friend: “Despite regime’s repression (or perhaps because of it) protests are witnessing, day by day, increasing growth and momentum in numbers and kind and expanding from urban to rural areas. It is going to be a long process during which the ancient regime’s informal institutions are deconstructed and a new system evolves from grassroots to formal institutions.”

Saleh falling back on standard practices, deports four western journos, had stopped issuing journalistic visas weeks ago.

More lunacy: EU urges dialog

Marib governor Ahmed al Zaidi stabbed in neck outside govt building : BBC. Attack came after al Zaidi led an assault by pro-govt thus on anti-regime protesters which injured 35 al Sahwa

Small Wars Journal 5 page pdf re Saleh, AQAP and US: urges no US direct military involvement but extending government throughout nation. (A process that will only, can only, work once Saleh is gone, I might add.)

The Bakil tribe join the protests, a very big development, al Sahwa Chief of the Bakeel Ameen Al-Aokaime reached Monday the entrance of Sana’a University where hundreds of thousands of protestors demonstrate, insisting that he and his followers would not leave until the fall of Yemen’s regime. (Sheikh’s name often spelled Okaime or like that, is in Marib I believe.)

Yemen GONGO (gov’t NGO or clone) Women’s Union says unrest due to conspiracy against state, stooge site: Hour News

Yemeni Ambassador to Switzerland Abdullah al Noaman resigns his post to join the protesters, the first ambassador I believe. We’ve had judges, military men and telecasters resign but this is first ambassador etc.

Parliament confirms bullets not rubber bullets used in Aden. I would think the bullet wounds would have been enough. Nine killed, 30 wounded al Sahwa

47 killed in last four weeks of protests, News Yemen, including 31 in Aden and 6 among other provinces, a much more accurate count than 9.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s president has fired a government minister for failing to persuade an expanding protest movement to end its monthlong challenge to his 32-year rule over one of the most impoverished and volatile corners of the Arab world. (Read on …)

Al Shameri, Yemeni ambassador to Egypt, loses 1/2 million dollars in robbery

Filed under: Education, Ministries, Other Countries, Yemen, govt budget, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

Al Shameri is a very interesting guy, close to Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, with a lot of connections to disparate groups. Supposedly al Shamari was carrying a half million dollars to dole it out to Yemeni students in Egypt but that’s unbelievable.

New Age: Yemen’s ambassador to Egypt was robbed by gunmen, who stole about 594,000 dollars in cash, security sources told the German Press Agency dpa on Wednesday. (Read on …)

Yemen government websites down, Update: Up Update: Down

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Presidency, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:31 am on Thursday, February 3, 2011

heh, wasn’t me or anybody that I know, really… Update: many back up already. Heavy traffic on the web may be making it wonky. Update 2: The sites are now all showing moved or under construction. Not the the website of the Yemeni parliament is much use anyway. U (Read on …)

Yemen suspends Oil Minister due to oil shortage

Filed under: Ministries, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:34 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Suspends or fires? Maybe he’ll be re-assigned as an ambassador, that’s what usually happens in cases of overt malfeasance or when the regime needs a fall guy. Of course the actual issues are the oil smuggling and the monopoly on oil sales and distribution (both run by Saleh’s partner Tawfiq Abdel Rahman who owes the state billions) and non-diversification of the economy.

Yemen suspends top officials over oil shortage ARAB NEWS Published: Jan 13, 2011 00:07

SANAA: Two top officials in the Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Minerals were suspended from duty due to acute shortage of fuel in the country, the Defense Ministry said. (Read on …)

Yemen: $7 million on qat daily

Filed under: Demographics, Economic, Ibb, Ministries, Qat, Water, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:16 pm on Monday, January 3, 2011

Yemen Post: Late last year, I met with the Minister of Water and he clearly said that it is impossible to end qat plantation in Yemen. He himself is known to have massive qat farms in Ibb region, while he admits that he would not stop qat plantation in his farms until the government gives him other options. The minister is saying that he wants options from the government in order to stop qat plantation, as if he is not in the government and responsible for this tragic file. He forgets that it is his duty to save Yemen from water depletion.

Yemen Chewers Spend $ 7 Million on Khat a Day: Yemeni people spend about $ 7 million a day on khat, a stimulus tree chewed by 75 per cent of males, compared to 33 per cent of women, an official has said.
(Read on …)

“Nine ministers resign from Mujawar Government” to run in the Parlimentary elections

Filed under: Elections, GPC, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:40 am on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well that solves the al Alimi conundrum in a standard manner. Many government officials who are facing accusations are transferred to another government post. At the same time, many GPC MP’s hold multiple government posts including serving in the military at the same time as the serve in the Parliament. Usually its just a pay check as opposed to actual work.

Yemen Observer: Several Ministers have resigned from Mujawar’s government in preparation for running in the next parliamentary elections in April 27, 2011.

Ministers Rashad al-Alimi, Deputy Minister for Security Affairs, Sadeq Ameen Abu Rass, the General People’s Congress’ (GPC) Assistant General Secretary, Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Affairs, Engineer Awadh al-Soqatri, Minister of Electricity, Yahya al-Shuaibi, Minister of Civil Service and Insurance and Abdul-Rahman, al-Akwa Minister of State, Mayor of Sana’a, Hamoud Ubad, Minister of Youth, Nabil al-Faqih, Minister of Tourism, Mansour al-Hawshabi, Minister of Agriculture, and Ahmed al-kuhlani, Minister of State are the first ministers to announce their resignation from their positions hours after the declaration of the Supreme Elections Commission “HEC” demanding that those who occupy constitutional positions and wish to nominate themselves in the elections should leave their posts three months before the election date as provided by law.

Yemeni Deputy PM Rashid al Alimi blows off Parliamentary summons on Wikileaks for HR meeting

Filed under: Air strike, GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Yemen, enviornmental 2 — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010

I really should start making bets for money. Al Alimi was summoned to Parliament earlier in the week to discuss the revelation that he joked about lying to Parliament. (At the time of the December airstrike, the JMP opposition parties withdrew but the uber-majority GPC dutifully pretended to believe the lie.) Al Alimi rescheduled for today, Saturday, and was again a no-show. Yemen’s rubber stamp parliament, dominated by President Saleh’s ruling GPC, doesn’t have the capacity to hold al Alimi or any of the ministers to account.

The last time he was summoned I believe was after the second al Qaeda attack on the South Koreans in 2008. A pedestrian suicide bomber bounced off the convoy of SK officials in Yemen to investigate the earlier suicide attack that killed three SK tourists in Hadramout. It was apparent that AQAP had information on the route of the convoy in advance. When he finally showed up, al Alimi admitted that the security services are infiltrated by al Qaeda, but he diagnosed it as low level and a function of corruption. Then he denied saying it. And in case you are interested, the headline coming out of the Human Rights conference was, “Alimi calls for civil society organizations to expose human rights violations and document them.” (Read on …)

New Yemeni Ambassador in the UK

Filed under: Ministries, Presidency, UK — by Jane Novak at 8:19 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

When will they change the UN and US ambassadors, both Saleh’s brother-in-laws from various of his four wives who have been ensconced for ages and ages?

LONDON, Dec.09 (Saba) – Queen Elizabeth II received at her Buckingham Palace in London credentials of the new Yemeni ambassador to the United Kingdom Abdullah Ali Al-Redhi.

The ambassador conveyed greetings of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his wishes for the queen, her family and people of the United Kingdom all success and progress…For her part, Queen Elizabeth II hailed the bilateral relations between the friendly countries and the level which has been achieved ,welcoming and hoping him all success in his tenure.

Yemeni Minster of Endowments Judge Hamoud Al Hittar Interview

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Religious — by Jane Novak at 11:30 am on Saturday, December 4, 2010

I would love to fisk this, there’s just so much that needs clarification, but no time. For the record, there was never any dialog with the Houthis, just fatwas and torture.

Al-Hitar comments on dialogue held with al-Qaeda, Huthists
[23/نوفمبر/2010]
SANA’A, Nov. 23 (Saba) – Endowments Minister Hamud al-Hitar has said the terrorist operations began in Yemen when the security services prioritized the military solution. (Read on …)

Another guy thats got to go, al Alimi

Filed under: Local gov, Ministries, Presidency, Security Forces, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:40 am on Sunday, November 7, 2010

Al-Alimi receives EU counterterrorism coordinator

Thursday 04 November 2010, 26 September Net

Deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Security Affairs and Minister of Local Administration Rashad al-Alimi met on Thursday with the European coordinator for counterterrorism M. Gilles de Kerchove. (Read on …)

Mystery epidemic in Taiz kills cattle

Filed under: Local gov, Medical, Ministries, Taiz, Yemen, non-oil resources — by Jane Novak at 8:03 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

Local authorities do nothing, again. Lets hope its not screw worm again because that’s communicable.

al Tagheer: He appealed to the people of the Beni Department Bakary Jabal Habashi in Taiz governorate and the Ministry of Agriculture and the local authority to maintain the speed of intervention to curb the epidemic of strange cause the deaths of dozens of cattle a few days ago. (Read on …)

Stealth Imposition of Repressive New Media Law in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:14 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010

Lawzi is the new Baghdad Bob.

Don’t Express Yourself
Written By: Abdel Bari Taher*
Yemen Observer

A few months ago, the Forum for Development suggested a meeting to discuss a new legislative proposal for journalism in Yemen. The meeting was planned as a response to a new audio-visual and electronic media bill that’s being depicted by supporters as a liberalization measure that would promote private media ownership in the country. The bill was introduced to parliament by the Ministry of Information.

The Ministry of Information’s bill was received with a great scorn among journalists and their syndicates, rejecting the bill as illegal. The current bill will make the field of journalism less free and make things more difficult for journalists. The bill’s supporters claim that it will have a positive impact by acknowledging freedom of expression.

The new bill is being gradually carried out and implemented already considering the powerful movement that has begun to enforce tighter limitations on freedom of expression and censorship in Yemen. (Read on …)

Sanaa Book Fair a Vehicle for Terrorist and Extremist Works

Filed under: Education, Ministries, Religious, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:54 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

It is an indication of the strength of Saleh’s extremist supporters that moderate books are excluded from a book fair, the point of which in theory is to bring new literature to the nation. Yemen Observer

A group of Yemeni intellectuals, writers, and thinkers are boycotting the 27th session of the Sana’a Book Fair, according to a release statement sent to Yemen Observer by the group.

The group said the Ministry of Culture, who is organizing the Book Fair, did not allow fiction works of Yemeni and Arabs to enter and be viewed in the Book Fair, well-known publishing houses were also absent, which “reflected on the credibility of the body that organizes the fair.”

Another objection the group noted was the oriented-takfir books which call for extremism and terrorism. (Read on …)

Yemen Govt Doing Little to Harvest Rainwater

Filed under: Ministries, Sana'a, Water, Yemen, disasters, non-oil resources — by Jane Novak at 8:39 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

There are good plans to address many urgent issues in Yemen but they are not implemented fully. Power centers within the government thwart reforms to protect their profits. In other cases, coordination among semi-autonomous ministries is nearly impossible to achieve.
IRIN

SANAA, 10 August 2010 (IRIN) – Despite record rainfall in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other areas this summer, very little is being done to harvest this water to mitigate water shortages, experts say. In May at least seven people were killed in what officials described as the worst flooding to hit Sanaa in a decade. Flooding has brought large parts of the city to a standstill on a number of occasions. Attempts by the government to harvest rainwater are very limited, according to Ramon Scoble, a consultant for Germany’s Technical Cooperation Committee (GTZ). (Read on …)

70% of Salt in Yemen not Iodized

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, non-oil resources, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 4:20 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The issue of non-iodized salt has come up before and its a change that could positively impact the nation.

Yemen Post: 70 per cent of salt at the Yemeni markets is non-iodized, a study by the UNICEF Nutrition Program has said. (Read on …)

Corruption kills, Vol. 128: $1.8 million in vaccines withdrawn as fraudulent

Filed under: Corruption, Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:35 am on Saturday, June 26, 2010

So what happened? The Health Ministry stole the real vaccines for resale in private pharmacies or never bought them in first place? Its very hard to donate anything to Yemen; monetary donations disappear by the sixth journal entry and even well intentioned physical donations (like to the victims of the Hadramout flood) are diverted for resale. Corruption in the Heatlh Ministry has an immediate lethal impact, just ask anyone with diabetes.

Yemen Observer: The Supreme National Association for Combating Corruption (SNACC) council approved Tuesday the withdrawal of an amount of fraudulent vaccine. The vaccines, which were to help prevent children’s illness such as the flu and malaria, were tampered with and then distributed on May 31 in eight governorates. After receiving reports that the vaccines were not in presentable containers, the authority approved their withdrawal from the markets.

The decision came after the SNACC reviewed reports from field teams sent to a number of governorates in response to the shipment of 400,000 doses of vaccines sent to the Ministry of Health stores on May 5, 2010.

The reports assured that the amounts were distributed to the Capital Secretariat, Sana’a, Taiz, Hajjah, Ibb, Dhamar, Amran and al-Mahwait governorates, noting that some of amounts were closer to damage of the powder.

According to the documents, the amounts of the vaccines sent to Yemen are approximately 611 doses costing $1,847,260. Sources say that the Ministry of Health bears 40 percent of the cost of the shipment.

Minister of Information Delays Visas for Foreign Journalists, Requires Loyalty Pledge for Yemeni Reporters for Satellite Channels

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:05 am on Friday, June 25, 2010

No wonder no body knows what the heck is actually going on, via News Yemen:

وزارة الإعلام ترفض منح الصحافة موافقة الدخول لليمن وتطلب من المراسلين التوقيع على تعهد The Ministry of Information press refuses to grant approval to enter Yemen and ask reporters to sign a pledge
22/06/2010 22/06/2010
خاص-نيوزيمن: Particular – NewsYemen:

علم نيوزيمن من مصادر مطلعة رفض وزارة الإعلام في الآونة الأخيرة منح عدد من القنوات الفضائية والصحفيين الأجانب موافقة دخول إلى اليمن لعمل تقارير صحافية. Learned from informed sources NewsYemen rejected the Ministry of Information recently granted a number of satellite channels and foreign journalists to enter the consent of Yemen to the work of media reports.
واشتكى العديد من الصحفيين الأجانب من تلكؤ الوزارة في منحهم الموافقة والتي على أساسها يحصلون على تأشيرة من السفارات اليمنية في الخارج. And many complained that foreign journalists from the reluctance of the ministry to give them the approval and on which get a visa from the embassies in Yemen and abroad. (Read on …)

Ghalib al Gamish to Investigate the Assault on PSO HQ in Aden

Filed under: Counter-terror, Ministries, Yemen, attacks, prisons, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:14 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update: Apparently the security had no bullets. Yemen Times:

Last Saturday, armed people attacked the Political Security office in Al-Tawahi district, Aden governorate. They killed 13 people, including seven soldiers, four women and a child.

“What happened is a scandal,” private sources reported told the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. «Armed people attacked the Political Security office in Aden where the security guards could not stop them. They exceeded all the security barriers and entered the security office building without being shot at even once. In the end they departed the place chanting joyfully in a triumphant tone.”

The sources told the newspaper said that there are signs that the attackers were not confronted by the guards who had no guns. According to the locals in Al-Tawahi district, all people who were suspected to be working for political security secretly disappeared during the attack.

OP: That’s hysterical, al Gamish to investigate. Either al Gamish planned it or the arrests and subsequent jailbreak were the result of infighting like occurred with Hamza al Qaiti after all the mortars missed in 2008. There was quite a verbal sparring match between the two in which al Qaiti said he was betrayed by al Gamish. Then he got killed in a shoot-out (like al Fawaz al-Reibi and the Egyptian Dwieder). Head of the PSO, Al Gamish was promoted (or at least got a second position) after the 2006 jail break. He’s been around for decades. The PSO is largely subverted by al-Qaeda but then again, al-Qaeda is also largely subverted by the PSO and sometimes (some of them) act as mercenaries. It was Al-Gamish, along with Saleh who negotiated directly with Abu al Feida on behalf of al-Qa’ida back in 2006. Quite a favorable deal it was for both sides. Al Feida had nothing but praise for the way the Yemeni regime handles the brothers.

Yemen Post: Minister of information , Mr . Hasan Al-lowzi has conformed that Yemen is a partner for the international society in all plans and operations that aim to face terrorism and it is fighting its individuals , Al-thawranet reported.

He said also , responding the question of Al-arabia channel in terms of the armed attack of Al-Qaida in Yemen that aimed political security office in Aden , ” There is a supreme committee presided by General Ghaleb Alqamesh , chief of political security system and the deputy of interior minister , interrogating this event to know every thing about it” .

He clarified that this terroristic work was unexpected for a city that has settlement and security as Aden that he conformed it as a secured city and all its visitors recognize that .

He said ” Today we go to Aden and pass in its streets without escorts and arms , and what happened was unexpected for a city that really distinguished to have a strong security because it is totally forbidden to bear arms in Aden” .

And in terms of security situation in Yemen and efforts paid to face terrorism , Al-lowzi pointed out that there is a fight , country and people are fighting against terrorism works especially Al-Qaida , and war will not be ceased until the specific and marked purposes in security plans to be achieved .

Minister of information also said ” Yemen is fighting really against terrorism , and it is a partner for the international society at facing it and there are threats should be taken to consideration and to be on the alert in the all governorates .

Dengue Outbreak Worsens in Yemen

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:20 pm on Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update 8/11 SABA: Around 9,065 suspected dengue fever cases were registered in several provinces in the country, according to a report discussed on Tuesday by the cabinet.The report of the health minister confirmed 1,798 affected cases with the fever, recommending to continue the routine check up on mosquito that transmits the diseases.

Original Post: The Health Ministry routinely ignores or denies outbreaks of disease, too busy stealing donated medicine for sale in private pharmacies, I guess. Al Sahwa

Sahwa Net- Saudi doctors told Sahwa Net the measured followed up in Yemen to combat Dengue Fever are unproductive and merely a waste of money. They said awareness campaigns should be intensified about mosquito breeding grounds and nessessary procedures to early diagnoses of Dengue Fever must be taken. A Yemeni official medical report has revealed on Monday the increase of Dengue Fever inflicted cases in Shabwa governorate, pointing out that the cases discovered mounted to 131 and that more that there are more than 1100 suspected cases of Dengue fever. (Read on …)

Yemen has no political prisoners, Justice Minister claims despite thousands in jail

Filed under: Judicial, Ministries, Trials, hostages, prisons — by Jane Novak at 2:21 pm on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh yes and its a democracy too! The local elections were stupendous, the media is free and the anti-corruption efforts are zooming right along. They lie and lie and lie some more. The problem with reform efforts in Yemen is that no one in the Saleh administration will acknowledge basic realities. Illegal, retaliatory and arbitrary arrests are among the main drivers of instability and civil unrest. Political prisoners include journalists, children and activists as well as persons officially designated as “hostages” by the state, a particularly abhorrent practice of imprisoning an individual in order to pressure a wanted family member. The comments came at a “Friends of Yemen” technical meeting, held in the hopes of instigating judicial reform, but if the state insists the judiciary is perfect, then there’s nothing to discuss.

SABA: No political prisoner in Yemeni jails, says minister

No political prisoner in Yemeni jails, Minister of Justice Ghazi al-Aghbari re-confirmed on Wednesday. In his meeting with the technical team of Yemen Friends Group over justice and security, the minister said that there are only detainees on charges of committing crimes and outlaw acts based on the 1992 law of punishments.

He pointed out to the outlaw elements that blocked roads, looting and burning public and private possessions under pretext of asking rights and freedom of expression, saying no law in the world authorizes to do such crimes.

The minister reviewed needs of Yemen that might friends of Yemen could support in field of judicial reforms in the country.

Opposition’s Call to National Dialog Treasonous: Majawar

Filed under: JMP, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:37 am on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One of the opposition leaders asked if Majawar was the Prime Minister of the government or the GPC, but the two are so well blended there’s little difference anymore. This speech took place at the government induced rally, where civil servants and students were forced to attend or face punitive actions.

WaPo SANAA (Reuters) – The Yemeni government accused the country’s opposition party of allying with armed elements fighting the state in the north and south, reducing prospects for national dialogue in a fractious country.

Separately, the government put 18 southern separatists on trial on Sunday on charges of incitement and threatening national unity, a move that could further increase tensions a day after four others were sentenced to jail terms of 10 years.

“Those who call themselves the opposition … have entered into suspicious alliances with groups outside of the system, the law and the constitution,” Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Megawar told a pro-government rally on Saturday.

“Your cheers are a condemnation of those who take up arms in the southern provinces,” he told the protesters, making a similar reference to northern Shi’ite rebels….

Updated List of President Saleh’s Relatives in Key Yemeni Military, Political and Economic Positions

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Parliament, Presidency, Yemen, land disputes — by Jane Novak at 9:07 am on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

President Saleh has a lot of in-laws from his four wives. Many of these are also major land “owners” having confiscated public and private land. My 2006 list is of presidential relatives is here and includes economic holdings and stakes in corporations. For example, the head of Yemenia airlines is President Saleh’s son-in-law. Aden Press:

Below is a list of some of Saleh’s relatives that control key positions in the Republic of Yemen:

1. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh – President’s son, Commander of the Republican Guard and Special Forces.
2. Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – nephew of President, Staff of the Central Security as a successor to his father.
3. Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – nephew of President, Saleh’s personal Guard Commander.
4. Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – nephew of President, the official in charge of national security. (Read on …)

Yemen Arrests Arms Dealer and Government Mediator Faris Manna

Filed under: Crime, Diplomacy, Ministries, Proliferation, Saada War, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 11:28 am on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Faris is also the brother of the governor of Sa’ada. Faris Manna was one of Yemen’s primary weapons traders for some years before he was appointed to the government mediation committee tasked with negotiating with the Houthi rebels. Apparently what he negotiated was a weapons deal.

When some aspect of the Defense Ministry imported a ship load of Chinese weapons, destined for the Houthi rebels, Faris was placed on a black list of arms dealers. Does the arrest demonstrate Western pressure having an effect or is it another ploy by the Saleh regime? I have never yet seen a high ranking Yemeni official held accountable for any crimes.

al Masdar Online: After surrounding his home in Sana’a
الأمن يعتقل رئيس لجنة الوساطة بصعدة الشيخ فارس مناع Security arrested the Chairman of the Mediation Committee Saada Sheikh Faris Manna
المصدر أونلاين- خاص Source Online – Special

علم “المصدر أونلاين” من مصادر مؤكدة إن الشيخ فارس مناع شقيق محافظ صعدة ورئيس لجنة الوساطة السابق بين السلطة والحوثيين قد اعتقل اليوم الخميس من منزلـه في أمانة العاصمـة. Aware of “online source” from confirmed sources that Sheikh Faris Manna brother of the governor of Saada, Chairman of the Mediation Committee between the Authority and the former Huthi was arrested on Thursday from his home in the capital. (Read on …)

Yemeni Government Subverted by Al Qaeda, al Houthi

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Media, Ministries, Saada War, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:35 am on Monday, January 11, 2010

Member of Parliament and rebel spokesman Yahya al Houthi, translated by the Iranian Press TV, alleges al Qaeda infiltration into key Yemeni ministries (media and intelligence). But its not news. I’d like to add to the list the Political Security, National Security, aspects of the military as well as the certain passport and tourism offices as additional Yemeni government institutions subverted by al Qaeda.

A Yemeni Parliamentarian says al-Qaeda enjoys strong support from the government of President Ali Abdullah Salih and runs key ministries in his cabinet.

Exiled Yemeni lawmaker Yahya al-Houthi — who is the brother of the Shia leader, Abdul-Malek — accused the government of allowing hundreds of al-Qaeda militants into the country.

He said members of al-Qaeda are in charge of many key ministries in the Salih administration including ministries for media and intelligence. (Read on …)

Journalists Against Corruption Document YR 1.5 Trillion in Corruption

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Corruption, Media, Ministries, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 11:31 am on Monday, January 11, 2010

I lost the link! I think its from the Yemen Times, I have to check it.

Governmental offices’ corruption cases are totaling to more that YR1.5 trillion in illegal transfering, equivalent to the current state’s budget, said a first draft report by Yemen Journalists Against Corruption (Yemen JAC), in collaboration with the Journalists Without Chains Organization.

The report registered 126 corruption cases last year. The oil sector, registering 19 cases, was at the top of the list, with more than YR700 billion in corrupt deals. Aden Oil Refinery Company illegally bought oil products worth YR300 billion alone without announcing bids. “This contradicts the Bid Act by which all companies should abide,” said Nabeel Abdurab, one member of Yemen (JAC). (Read on …)

News Yemen Press Release After Website Destroyed by Minstry of Telecommunication

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Communications, Media, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 10:29 am on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

After it lost YR40 million

News Yemen calls press freedom advocates to support it against attack
News Yemen website has set up an old webpage for limited usage after the web experienced a horrible piracy last November 28th. The webpage will be available temporary.

News Yemen apologizes for being unable to post more news stories but coverage of the consequences of the piracy and robbery against the web and efforts the web staff and its partners are exerting to solve technical and material problems.
On Saturday, the website Editor-in-Chief, Nabil al-Sofi, received a promise from the Minister of Telecommunication, Kamal al-Jebri, in a meeting on Saturday to provide all necessary information on the web hacker and to ask for assistance of international experts. Al-Jebri confirmed that anyone from the ministry proved involved in the attack on News Yemen would be punished.

According to the hosting company, based in the United States, the ID of the hacker was for Yaser al-Emad, the director of the Internet Department in the Ministry of Telecommunication, but the minister al-Jebri said the government respects the performance of newsyemen. (Read on …)

MP’s Urge Withdrawing Confidence from Mujawar’s Govt

Filed under: Ministries, Parliament, Political Opposition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:16 am on Saturday, November 7, 2009

Now that they voted themselves another two years in office, they are getting a bit more outspoken. Actually theres some members of Parliament including GPC members who see the disaster unwinding but they have little power to do anything, considering they all take their orders from Saleh. Firing the heads of all the ministries and replacing them with neutral technocrats might have a good effect but it would be limited by the hyper-politicization of everything in Yemen and by the fact that the real power isn’t in the ministries either.

Yemen Post: MPs have urged to withdraw the confidence from the government, with MPs describing the current cabinet led by Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Mujawar as corrupt and ‘ reckless’. (Read on …)

Corruption the Central Issue in Yemen

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Parliament, Political Parties, Presidency, Reform — by Jane Novak at 1:09 am on Thursday, September 3, 2009

A spot on report: Corruption, the government cannot survive without it. The Houthi rebellion, Southern uprising and al Qaeda’s increasing infiltration are all rooted in corruption. The Yemeni regime is structurally reliant on corruption. Its a mafia more than a government.

SANAA, Sept 2 (Reuters) – A Yemeni tank unit fighting rebels is said to have run out of ammunition after its commander stole his men’s wages, telling them to make money selling spent shell casings instead — so they blasted away at anything that moved.

True or not, Yemenis readily believe the tale.

Corruption is rampant in Yemen, whether defined as the abuse of public office for private gain, or in the form of patronage, the diversion of state resources to seek political quiescence.

Its tentacles stretch from top to bottom of the government, with powerful tribes and the military-security establishment among the main beneficiaries, according to a 94-page assessment by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Efforts to fight the scourge, notably the creation of a Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) in 2007, have made little headway, Yemeni and foreign experts say. (Read on …)

The Prison Called Yemen, Redux: Mr. Bashraheel

Filed under: Media, Ministries, South Yemen, Targeting — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Tuesday, August 18, 2009

تواصلا للانتهاكات التي تتعرض لها صحيفة “الأيام” وناشراها رفض المسئولون في مصلحة الهجرة بعدن طلب تجديد جواز سفر تقدم به الأستاذ هشام باشراحيل رئيس تحرير صحيفة “الأيام” إليهم يطلب فيه تجديد جواز سفره الذي انتهت صلاحيته في شهر يونيو من هذا العام .
ورفض المسئولون في إدارة الهجرة والجوازات التجديد بناءً على أوامر صدرت إليهم من مدير أمن محافظة عدن العميد عبد الله عبده قيران .
ويأتي رفض التجديد تواصلا لحملة استهداف شخصية لآل باشراحيل لا تستند إلى أي نص قانوني، حيث أصدر رئيس مصلحة الهجرة والجوازات والجنسية بتاريخ 12 مايو 2009 قرارا يقضي بمنع كلا من هشام باشراحيل رئيس تحرير صحيفة “الأيام” ونجله هاني باشراحيل رئيس تحرير صحيفة “الأيام الرياضي” من مغادرة البلاد والقبض عليهما في حال ما إذا حاولوا ذلك عبر المنافذ الرسمية للبلد.
(Read on …)

Yemen’s Ministry of Health Reins in Intl NGO’s and Asks for 7% Cut

Filed under: Medical, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 9:46 am on Thursday, August 6, 2009

I have a lot of posts entitled “Corruption Kills” and these normally deal with the Health Ministry and stolen donated equipment, counterfeit drugs sold in stores owned by Ministry officials, the shortage of dialysis machines (there was some shipment that was cancelled) and rural outbreaks entirely ignored by the ministry, so the fact that they are shaking down the NGO’s now is not surprising. The religious incitement against medical workers in Sa’ada is spread from mosques run by pro-government hard core Salafis associated with General Ali Mohsen. The following article is from the Yemen Times:

SANA’A, Aug. 2 — The Ministry of Public Health and Population met with international NGOs working in Yemen’s health sector last week to introduce them to the new terms and conditions aimed to accelerate the achievement of Yemen’s Millennium Development Goals.
(Read on …)

Yemen Rounds Up 101 Usual Suspects

Filed under: Crime, Ministries, Tribes, hostages, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 9:54 am on Thursday, July 30, 2009

These are not accused of being complicit in the kidnapping of the nine foreigners in June, six of whom are still missing. Yemen Post

Yemeni Interior Ministry announced that 101 suspects were arrested in Yemeni governorates in connection with kidnapping Yemeni and foreign people during the middle of last year till July 2009.
Interior Ministry said that arrests aimed to catch outlaws to bring them to justice, ”most of the suspects handed down in Yemeni courts in different cases related to broken laws” Interior Ministry explained.
101 suspects were arrested in different governorates, including 50 in the capital, 8 Aden, 7 Taiz, 8 Hadramout, 9 Hodeida, 3 Abyan, and 10 in Dhmar governorate. (Read on …)

Yemen’s disinformation, lies and spin on every topic continues

Filed under: Media, Ministries, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:44 am on Friday, July 3, 2009

All they do is lie. Its really a very Stalinistic regime- they lie big lies. From the ruling party’s website- no one was hurt in Dhalie:

Almotamar.net – Yemeni official information source has on Thursday (6/25) denied Al-Jazeera TV channel and other media instruments reports on occurrence of killed or wounded in the massive demonstration supporting the unity in Al-Dhalie governorate on Wednesday. The march was organised by political, social and cultural activities in the governorate in loyalty to the unity and in condemnation of the voices calling for separation, sedition and sowing feelings of hatred among the sons of the one homeland.

On the other hand the source condemned the attack on Al-Jazeera TV channel team while it was heading for Dhalie to cover the march in support of the unity, at the hands of anarchic outlaw elements.

Enviornmental Disaster in Yemen

Filed under: Enviornmental, Investment, Ministries, Oil — by Jane Novak at 9:45 pm on Thursday, July 2, 2009

The criminalization of the state leads to incompetence and lack of oversight in all areas. I think the Yemeni “government” gave up trying to provide basic services a while ago and now its just wack-a-mole (reactive decision making).

Dead shrimp are one thing, but theres whole villages that have been sickened by enviornmental contaminaton of the extractive industries and other pollution. And the Health Ministry is so inept that its criminal. From SABA:

GAMSR warns of crude oil leaking in Shabwa

ADEN ,July 01 (Saba) – The General Authority for Marine Science Research (GAMSR) has warned of crude oil leaking due to negligence of the companies working in Balhaf, near Bir-Ali area ,in the eastern governorate of Shabwa which causes death of shrimp and various fish.

Deputy Chairman of GAMSR Saleh Awadh told Saba that this phenomenon discovered late of last June has caused death of many shrimp in Bir-Ali which is known of shrimp existence in trade quantities.

A technical research team led by Awadh headed to the mentioned area, he made it clear to study the situation.

Accordingly, the team reported to the authorities in Shabwa governorate and the government to take necessary measures and to put an end for this phenomenon which appears as oil spots at the sea, Awadh added.

He indicated that the search team did not reach a scientific result yet after examining a shrimp as they were found rotten, warning of environmental pollution in the area.

Eight Million Yemenis Abroad? USD 1 Billion in Remittances

Filed under: Demographics, Donors, UN, India, Ministries, Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen-Statistics — by Jane Novak at 9:05 pm on Thursday, July 2, 2009

Whoa, last time we checked, it was 2 million abroad. What did they do- give out six million bogus passports in the last two years? (The statistical anomaly is not unusual- during the 2006 elections, there were more registered male voters than men. The official unemployment statistics are pretty funny too.) And now the plan is to establish a monitoring system on Yemeni expats… Does Yemen really need 62 embassies; they’re such money pits. There were those big and repeated announcements in 2005 that the regime was going to close some embassies as money saving measures, Romania I think it was, but it never happened. From the Yemen Observer:

Yemen plans to conduct comprehensive surveys for Yemeni expatriates that would focus on their numbers, jobs, families and activities, and their remittances to their homeland. (Read on …)

Rebels Release 25 Soldiers

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 4:37 pm on Saturday, June 27, 2009

The rebels in Yemeni prison were supposed to be released with the last negotiated truce, and the two truces before that. Their families have been holding weekly sit-ins to try to get their relatives back. I have a copy of the presidential order directing their release.

From Al Sahwa: The media office of al-Houthi rebels has affirmed that 25 soldiers were released on Thursday. The office said that the soldiers were repatriated to a mediation committee. In a statement, the office accused the authorities of holding repels , torturing and harassing them.

Meanwhile Interior Ministry accuses the rebels of drug dealing….

Mujawar Orders Information Minister to Order Printers to Print

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 9:06 am on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lets see if Mujawar can get his orders implemented and if the Ministry of Information recognizes his authority. Government journalists to get a raise. Meanwhile the non-governmental media has been crippled.

Mujawar order to transform journalists’ inspiration into action SANA’A, June 25 (Saba) – Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Mujawar on Thursday ordered the relevant authorities to implement the March 10 cabinet decision on the journalists job description as soon as possible.

The project calls for job description and classification at the media institutions including the Yemen News Agency Saba, the General Radio and Television Corporation and the military media institutions.

The PM’s order comes in reply to notes sent by the Yemeni Journalist Syndicate in which the government was urged to transform the idea into a concrete action as well as providing necessary funds for the media sector within the next year’s budget.

Mujawar also ordered to give back money cut from the budget allocated for the journalists and approve salary increases ordered previously.

He also called on the Ministry of Public Health and Population to care of the journalists and their families through enabling them to get special treatment at the public hospitals.

The PM also called on the Communication Ministry to provide free internet services for the journalists, asking them to go after many Arab countries.

He also ordered the Information Ministry to continue publishing national newspapers at the al-Thawra Printings according to contracts signed with papers.

Information Ministry has 142 Offices and 2 Gardens

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Ministries, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 6:36 pm on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is that? One office for every newspaper that they want to drive out of business?

Yemen Post

As Ministry of Information has recently been transformed to a new site, President Ali Abdullah Saleh paid a short visit to the new ministry building earlier this week. News about the visit has two different sides.

The state-run news agency “Saba” reported that the President congratulated the ministry employees for the new building, and urged members of various media organs, audio, visual and print media, to improve and upgrade the information content and provide a meaningful messages that help the country towards progress and advancement adding that he inspected the various facilities of the ministry, the ongoing work as well as the work plan of the various institutions and organs of the ministry, however informed sources said that the President’s visit had a completely different aim.

Sources at the Ministry of Information said that during his visit to the ministry building, the President directed the ministry leadership to vacate the new building of the Ministry.
“Due to the huge size of the building compared with the small staff number of the ministry, President directed that the ministry should be moved again to the previous building giving no more details about any other body that might receive the building instead ” the source said.
The new six-store building of the Ministry of Information was inaugurated in March 19 2009 at a total cost of YR1, 899,984,000.

The building contains 142 offices; set In 264.43 square meters .It includes a kindergarten for the employees’ children, a hall for events, activities and workshops, in addition to two gardens, inside and outside car parks for more than 300 cars.

Yemen to Establish Internet at 4000 Mosques

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Communications, Ministries, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:39 am on Saturday, June 20, 2009

As the government is shutting news sites and monitoring web cafes, it is also contracting for wireless internet in 4000 mosques.They want to attract youths. But I wonder why they didn’t start with the schools first? The Star

THE Yemen Government has engaged the services of a local company in Kulim, Kedah, to set up web portals and wireless lin-kage at 4,000 mosques in its country.

NFAB Holdings Services (M) Sdn Bhd’s proposal has been submitted to the Grand Mufti Council of Yemen and it has, in principle, agreed to implement it.

NFAB managing director Dr Nurul Faisal Abu Bakar said the programme could benefit the mosques in the northern African country as it could attract youths to participate in religious activities organised by its respective mosques. (Read on …)

State Report on Women

Filed under: Demographics, Employment, Medical, Ministries, Parliament, Women's Issues, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:40 am on Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some women in Yemen believe they are subordinate to men. Some don’t. One time one of the “hard Muslims” as he called himself, told me that women have only half a brain. So I asked him if he ever met a smart woman and a stupid man, was it possible a woman’s half brain could be larger than a small brained man? He didn’t have an answer for that or the question, why would God give women talents if not to use them? He just started ranting he loved Osama bin Laden and offered to send me a book

State report on women issued
SANA’A, June 11 (Saba)-
Woman National Committee (WNC) issued its recent state report on challenges facing women, empowering her and future tendencies to promote her in different fields, political, economic, cultural and social.

Granting the two sexes equal opportunities to get work based on equity in all issues included in the report.

Women limited and weak political participation, women parliamentarian representation, enacting with quota demand, woman lower participation in the work, illiteracy spread, increasing mortality percentage among woman and false conceptions on woman’s issues are the main issues the report talked about. (Read on …)

Massive Fraud at State-Owned Cement Factory In Yemen

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Transportation — by Jane Novak at 10:15 am on Sunday, May 31, 2009

Its very, very good, and they all deserve commendation, but will anyone go to jail?

Inquiry into Cement Plants Frauds
SANA’A, May 31 (Saba) – A widening investigation into an enormous graft involving hundreds of billions of Riyals at the state-owned cement plant is underway, head of the Supreme National Anti-Corruption Commission has said. (Read on …)

Lawzi Tries Propaganda: 22 New Newspaper Licenses

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Sunday, May 31, 2009

Probably every one of the 22 newly licensed papers is pro-regime and Tawwakol Karaman (WJWC) didn’t get her license yet. I would love to be wrong, really I would.

Al Qaeda can publish magazines and statements on the internet, but not civil society. Whats up with that? Everybody is blocked in Yemen except al Qaeda? The newspapers are inciting hatred but not Wahishi? Such garbage.

Zawya Yemen granted licenses for 22 new newspapers including 14 local newspapers, three newspapers for civil organizations and five for political parties in accordance with legal procedures, said Deputy Minister of Information Mohammed Shaher. Shaher said that there were further requests for issuing newspapers which are under studying by the ministry.

Currently around eight newspapers in Yemen were banned by the information ministry from printing and are accused of inciting hatred and indiscrimination in the country after covering what is happening in the southern governorates. Many local and international organizations have demanded that Yemeni government stop violating the rights of newspapers and freedom of the press.

Previously, Minister of information Hassan al-Lawzi said in a press conference that all Yemeni newspapers must take into consideration the national principles and the common interest of the nation when they are dealing with their press coverage.

The Newspapers Confiscated Themselves!!!

Filed under: Media, Ministries, political violence — by Jane Novak at 6:52 am on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The news editions “willingly disappeared”, just like the southern protesters shot themselves, al-Khaiwani beat himself up to damage the reputation of the security forces, and in 2005, the fuel riots were prompted by “saboteurs in military uniforms” (thats actually what they said). Its like the country is run by a six year old bully who lies constantly and badly.

Govt. denies banning newspapers, accuses TV channels of harming Yemen’s unity
26/05/2009
SANA’A, NewsYemen : Information Minister Hassan al-Lawzi, who is also the government’s spokesman, has denied any decision taken by the Ministry of Information to suspend newspapers and said it only issues an administrative measure against some media who have violated press law.

In his press conference on Tuesday, al-Lawzi told reporters that some newspapers willingly disappeared for some individual conditions and troubles with printers.
But al-Lawzi said the ministry admitted that the Ministry of Information had warned the government and private printers to carry responsibility for any violation of press law.

Newspapers’ chief editors say they still have fears to get their newspapers confiscated after printing. They also said that owners of printers, private and public, still refuse to print newspapers which the Information Ministry has suspended.

Owners of printers want a clear permission from the ministry to print such newspapers to avoid legal problem with the ministry, said the newspapers’ editors.

Al-Lawzi has also said some TV channels unprofessionally intervene in Yemen’s internal affairs and violate the national sovereignty of Yemen. “Some TV channels host people and put pressure on them to talk against the Yemeni Unity and we have the evidence,” said al-Lawzi.

Corruption: The Oil Ministry

Filed under: Ministries, Oil — by Jane Novak at 9:40 am on Monday, May 18, 2009

Its the same game in every ministry and exceeds billions in total.

Yemen Post

In what observers describe to be timid observations, official reports released by the Central Administration for Control and Auditing (COCA) revealed financial violations and infringements at the Ministry of Oil and Minerals at hundreds of millions of US dollars.

The ministry, upon which the country’s economy is built, is accused for excessive expenses. The same reports noted that there had been repeated and excessive expenses, reaching in 2006 alone over $26 million (some YR 5 billions).

This figure made up about 49 percent of the ministry’s overall revenues collected in the same year which mounted to $53 million. Further, the ministry is working to use the revenues collected from oil companies in return for using the pipeline and other oil facilities for its own expenses.

According to the reports, the ministry collected over $39 million and kept it in its bank accounts for covering its expenses. As to bonuses, the ministry spent about $2 million in overstated bonuses for its employees and also spent about YR 452 million for the same end.

The reports mentioned as well that $55,000 was spent for no clear reasons and it was not included under any item in the budget and $37 million was spent on buying a power generator and furniture for the Minister’s house.

This comes at times the country is facing unprecedented drop in oil revenues due to the collapse of oil prices worldwide and the depletion of several oil wells and the rampage of corruption.

Neopotism: The Health Ministry

Filed under: Biographies, Medical, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 8:40 am on Monday, May 18, 2009

Of all the corrupt ministries, the Health Ministry is the most disgusting because it has such an immediate negative impact on the lives of all Yemenis. Thousands and thousands die because of the subversion of this arm of the state into a criminal enterprsie that preys on the public.

In comment on the article “Yemen on the Brink of War” pls know the following: the Yemeni Health Minister’s wife is the sister of the husband of the the President’s sister-in law.

Donors Dissatisfied with Reform Implementation

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, GCC, Ministries, Yemen, govt budget, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:11 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yemen is unable to absorb donor aid in a constructive and transparent manner. A large percentage of aid, grants and loans- beyond the 5.5 bil- have also not been utilized or were diverted. Yemen Post

SANA’A // More than two years after a donors conference in London pledged US$5.5 billion (Dh20bn) to help Yemen, just over $375 million has been disbursed. The challenge now, according to a top World Bank official, is obviously translating those pledges into action.

“We made significant pledges of financial and other assistance in London, but the challenge is now one of implementation, of ensuring that these pledges translate into actual action on the ground, and that the activities we finance are true priorities for the country,” said Daniela Gressani, the World Bank’s regional vice president for Middle East and North Africa. Almost half of the pledges – $2.5bn – came from Gulf states.

Nabil Shaiban, Yemen’s general director of international co-operation at the ministry of planning and international co-operation, said the delay in using the funds was because of the time needed to meet donors’ requirements for allocating the money. (Read on …)

Iran Pays 60 Million to Yemen’s Energy Ministry

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Corruption, Electric, Iran, Ministries, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 10:54 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

A funky little story about the Marib gas power station project, but not so odd following the scandal surrounding nuclear project and the later Latin Node. No mention of exactly where the 60 mill is at the moment.

Sahwa Net – An Iranian company ( the Persian ) have reimbursed the Yemeni Electricity and Energy Ministry $ 60 million for violating the agreement terms signed with Yemen’s ministry , according to well-informed sources. The sources said that the Iranian firm bought transformers with bad quality, violating the agreement of Marib Gas Power Station Project.

More at the Yemen Post: apparently it was well known that the Iranian firm substituted an Indian generator instead of the agreed upon Sieman’s. (Read on …)

2700 Yemeni Government Officials Fail to Submit Disclosure Form

Filed under: Corruption, Economic, Judicial, Local gov, Ministries, Parliament, Reform, Yemen, poverty/ hunger, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 10:26 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

The SNACC is going to bring it to the President’s attention. There is no information if there are irregularities in the forms submitted. Also Parliament is asking for prosecution of officials who stole YR72 billion in 2007 through corruption

Yemen Observer: The Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) is taking legal procedures to refer 3 ministers, 8 governors, and 40 ambassadors to the judiciary, pursuant to article 24 of the second chapter of Anti-Corruption Law, according to SNACC member Ahmed Qurhesh. (Read on …)

Recent attacks and threats on journalists and editors in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Ministries, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:21 pm on Friday, April 10, 2009

Nice, a list. There’s so many attacks lately I lost track…

Recent attacks and threats on journalists and editors in Yemen
Yemen, Politics, 4/6/2009, Arabic News

The organization ARTICLE 19 said last Monday it is monitoring with great concern the most recent pattern of threats and attacks on journalists in Yemen.

“No journalist should be arrested or attacked because of his/her work and opinion,” says Dr. Agnès Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director. “Authorities should immediately investigate these incidents and provide effective protection to journalists under threat.”

Some of the recent incidents include:

- Managing Editor of Mareb Press, Mohammad Salhi, was abducted on 19 March 2009 by security officers and imprisoned for eight hours before his release. Salhi was arrested for allegedly trying to take photos of the scene where four South Korean tourists were killed and three others wounded in a terrorist attack in the city of Shibam on 14 March – On 23 March Abdel Malek Shrai, journalist for the independent Al-Ayyam daily, was attacked during his coverage of the murder story of the general director of Khdair governorate. He was beaten up, slandered and banned from writing about the case – Mohammad Shar’abi, an editor at the independent Al Diyar newspaper, has received life threatening messages because of his critical writings and opinions. On 24 March his house in Taiz governorate was bombed. Shar’abi had also been attacked before when unknown assailants shot at his house in November 2008 while his family and children were inside – Associated Press correspondent Ahmad Al Haj has also received threatening messages on his mobile phone from a private unknown caller who described him as an agent and mercenary – In addition, independent journalists in Yemen are being prosecuted for simply doing their job. There are six legal cases against the Nasserite newspaper, Al Wahdawi, for publishing stories related to corruption and investigative material

The one positive note in this negative atmosphere is a speech delivered at the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate General Assembly in mid March by Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh in which he instructed the government to grant licenses to satellite broadcasting channels and to allow the transmission of private radios to any party who requests it.

US Co. Pleads Guilty to Paying Son of Yemeni President Over $1,000,000

Filed under: Business, Corruption, Media, Ministries, Presidency, Yemen   · — by Jane Novak at 3:27 pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

They don’t name the son but it could be Ahmed Saleh, the son of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the heir apparent to Saleh’s throne. He is also the commander of the Special Forces and the Republican Guard which directs the mechanized units including artillary, the new tanks and rockets. Payments also went to the ministry of telecommunication and other Yemeni officials.

US Department of Justice

Latin Node Inc., Pleads Guilty to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violation and Agrees to Pay $2 Million Criminal Fine

WASHINGTON – Latin Node Inc. (Latinode), a privately held Florida corporation, pleaded guilty today to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with improper payments in Honduras and Yemen, Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division announced.

At a hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul Courtney Huck in the Southern District of Florida, Latinode pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging a criminal violation of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. As part of the plea agreement, Latinode agreed to pay a $2 million fine during a three-year period.

According to court documents, Latinode provided wholesale telecommunications services using Internet protocol technology countries throughout the world, including Honduras and Yemen…

In addition, from approximately July 2005 to April 2006, court documents show that Latinode made 17 payments totaling approximately $1,150,654 either directly to Yemeni officials or to a third-party consultant with the knowledge that some or all of the money would be passed on to Yemeni officials in exchange for favorable interconnection rates in Yemen. Each of those payments was made from Latinode’s Miami bank account. According to court documents, company e-mails indicate that the intended payment recipients included, but were not limited to, the son of the Yemeni president; the vice president of operations at TeleYemen, the Yemeni government-owned telecommunications company; other officials of TeleYemen; and officials from the Yemeni Ministry of Telecommunications.

Yemen Portal: Faster, Stronger Hits One Million Articles

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Targeting — by Jane Novak at 8:29 pm on Monday, March 16, 2009

الأخوة أعضاء يمن بورتال الأعزاء،

تحية طيبة أهديها إليكم بعد طول غياب ويسعدني إبلاغكم بأن المحرك “يمن بورتال نت” قد تجاوز عقبة أخرى وانتهى من التحديث الجذري للبنية التحتية له حيث انتقل إلى سيرفر جديد ذو سعة وسرعة كبيرتين وبالتالي فإن تصفحه سيكون أسرع وأسهل من الآن فصاعداً.

كما يسعدني إبلاغكم بأن عدد المواد المخزنة في قاعدة بيانات المحرك قد وصل مؤخراً إلى مليون مادة. وإليكم البيان المرفق الذي يحتوي على التفاصيل وأتمنى أن يقوم أصحاب المواقع والمدونون منكم بنشره دعماً منكم للمحرك الذي ما يزال مع الأسف محجوباً في اليمن إلا أنه من الممكن محاولة فتحه عبر الرابط المؤمن

https://yemenportal.net

متأملاً استجابتكم في نشر المرفق مع تمنياتي لكم بالتوفيق والنجاح.
(Read on …)

Yemen Outlaws Promoting Thought

Filed under: Ministries, Political Opposition, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The new mosque law outlaws propagating thoughts that are contrary to Sharia. At the same time it outlaws inciting against any party, group or sect. The law was passed before the postponement of the elections, and was probably intended to make it difficult for Islah preachers to promote their candidates. I like the way they package it as reform. On a related note, Saudi Wahabbi preachers organized a training course with Yemeni preachers. Needless to say, the Saudis don’t have the best record for freedom of religion with their Shiite population either.

The law on Press and Publication outlaws written words based on the outcome they produce such as promoting sectarian or regional strife and undermining unity.

Government approves mosques’ law
SANA’A, March, 03 (Saba)- The government approved in its weekly meeting held on Tuesday mosques’ law and directed concerned officials to issue it.

The law aims at reviving the mosque belief, educational and guidance message and protecting the freedom of mosques, security and stability in them. It also aims at good management of mosques, building, maintaining them and equipping them for performing Islamic rituals.

The law seeks to enhance process of taking care of mosques and religious and historical monuments and protecting their cultural and civilized heritage. It also seeks to organize religious address and its role in serving the religion and the homeland, besides promoting performance of the workers in the mosques and improving their living conditions.

The 31 item of the draft law defines duties of preachers, guiders and all mosques’ workers. It stressed on their commitments to good call for worshiping God and makings mosques away of partisan conflicts.

While item 32 included prohibitions implemented on all mosques’ workers. These prohibitions are propagating to thoughts contradicting Islamic Share’a and its principles. Using mosques for propagating or inciting against any party, group or sect is also among prohibitions.

Mystery Illness Rumored Caused by Radiation

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Oil — by Jane Novak at 1:37 pm on Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Yemen media in the past has erroneously reported small pox, e-bola and a variety of outbreaks that had much more standard diagnoses when investigated. However the Ministry of Health is little help in these cases.

Yemen Post: Medical sources have said that an alien disease spread among oil company workers in the province of Aden’s Albraiqa district.

A seven case in this month so far was recorded on Thursday.

The disease affects the skin and specific parts of the body, the medical sources said, adding the likelihood of the alien appearance of this disease related to radioactive chemicals.

Myiasis Outbreak in Yemen Worsens after Field Teams Stop Work

Filed under: Agriculture, Medical, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Friday, December 26, 2008

The administration is utterly dysfunctional.

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Dec 23 — As the spread of myiasis, a condition where animal or human tissue is infested with fly larvae or maggots, in the Mahwit governorate rapidly accelerates, field teams from the General Department for Animal Resources (GDAR) have ceased working towards combating this potentially fatal disease.

The teams stopped work three weeks ago because, according to Ahmed Al-Hasibi, director of the Animal Wealth Administration in Mahwit governorate, “the vector is out of control, it is a fly in the air.”

However, two teams in Bani Sa’ad, one in Al-Khabt and another in Milhan are still working towards eradicating the disease.

“At the moment, GDAR field teams have stopped fighting the epidemic. Because they have not received their salaries from the Ministry of Agriculture since the 3rd December, they have decided to quit,” Al-Hasibi said. (Read on …)

Yemeni Women’s Political Participation Statistics

Filed under: Local gov, Ministries, Parliament, Political Parties, Women's Issues — by Jane Novak at 9:07 am on Friday, December 26, 2008

The Reality of Female Participation in Public Institutions

Yemen Times

Despite the presence of women in elections, their contribution in decision-making is still weak. In the legislative field, there is a single seat for women in the entire parliament, from a total of 301. In the Shura Council, women occupy only 2 of 111 seats. On the level of the executive authority, only 2 of 33 ministries are directed by women. There are 39 women deputy ministers and assistants compared with 1210 men in similar positions. Out of 44490 general directors in Yemen, only 168 of them are women. In the diplomatic field, women represent a mere 10 percent of all diplomats, and in the judiciary field they represent 7 percent.

Female participation in the parliamentary elections of 1993 was low as they represented only 18 percent of the total voters. In 1997, this level of participation increased to 27 percent, and by the 2003 elections, the level of women participation increased to 42 percent of the total voters.

Interestingly, it is true that the number of women candidates decreases whenever the number of women voters increases. In the 1993 elections, women candidates represented 1.3 percent, yet in 1997 the percentage of women candidates was down to 1.4. This trend has continued, as in the 2003 elections the ratio of women candidates was only .8 percent.

The GPC attains the highest ratio of women votes, such as in the 2003 elections where it captured 60 percent of the female vote – 43 percent of the total votes for that party. The Islah party received 22 percent of the female vote, which represented 40 percent of the total votes for that party. Only 5 percent of female votes went to the socialist party, which represented 39 percent of the total votes that the party attained. The Nasserite party gained 2 percent of the women’s votes, which represented 39 percent of the party’s total.

Voting for parties is not based entirely on their programs. It is right that women in the Yemeni society have a negative view of the extremist religious powers and their rigid stance toward women. However, votes are also affected by other issues. The presence of women in these parties affects the distribution of votes. For example, women represent 31 percent of GPC members, which may account for its popularity among women voters. In the GPC’s General Committee, women represent 12.8 percent of its members, and 9.1 percent of its Permanent Committee.

In the Islah Shura Council, women represent 9.1 percent, and in its General Secretariat they represent 6.3 percent of the total members. Women represent 9.01 percent of the total members in the Socialist Party’s Central Committee, and 10.52 percent in the General Secretariat.

Corruption Efforts Lack Enforcement, Yemen

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:57 pm on Sunday, December 7, 2008

Only half of the finacial disclosure statements were received, there’s still 5000 outstanding.

Yemen Times
SANA’A, Dec. 3 — Forty-nine complaints against various government bodies have been forwarded to the Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption in the third quarter of this year. Only one of the complaints was transferred to persecution while 19 were dismissed as irrelevant to the authority’s field of work. (Read on …)

Former Oil Minister Apptd Yemeni Ambassador to Canada

Filed under: Diplomacy, Ministries, Oil — by Jane Novak at 6:52 pm on Sunday, November 30, 2008

Republican decree appoints Yemen ambassador to Canada

[04 December 2008]

SANA’A, Dec. 04 (Saba) – Republican decree No. 288 for the year 2008 issued on Thursday appointing Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah ambassador of Yemen to Canada.

Local Administration Minister al-Hilal Resigns

Filed under: Local gov, Ministries, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:21 pm on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

messy messy

Yemen Post

Minister of Local Administration Abdul Kadir Hilal handed Saturday his resignation to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, being the second resigning minister in the new government over the last couple of months. (Read on …)

10,000 Land Parcels Stolen in Aden Alone

Filed under: Ministries, South Yemen, land disputes, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 11:12 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2008

The concentration of economic power and political power is accompanied by the concentration of land “ownership”, possession would be a better word.

Yemen Post

State Officials Responsible for Land Theft; Weaker Citizens Suffer and Stay Hopeless

Last week, hundreds marched in protest to the organized theft of lands that takes place by state officials and high-ranking security and military officers. Locals in many governorates claim that their lands were looted, and because they are weak they cannot do nothing to get their property back.

In a letter handed to the governor of Shabwa Ali Hassan Al-Ahmadi, protesters voiced their rejection for the theft of lands and stressed they will spare no effort, blood and money to safeguard their lands.

Similarly, earlier this year, hundreds of people protested against the policy of looting lands in Aden and Lahj provinces. Former Member of Parliament Saleh Harbi accused 15 top military leaders and heads of the local authorities in Aden and Lahj of manipulating lands, pointing out that President Saleh knows those officials well and knows what they are doing.

The looting of lands is a crisis that has been spreading throughout the country since 1994. Economists consider this practice by government officials as a negative spot on the side of the country, which is supposed to attract internal and external investment.

According to government officials in Aden, 10,200 pieces of lands including lands belonging to overseas investors were looted by executive officials in the southern region of Yemen.

In parliament session, MP Sakhr Al-Wajeeh urged the government to hold back measures being taken by the Land and States Authority in giving the Military Economic Corporation a piece of land in Dar Saad of Aden, and keep the lands in the ownership of their legal owners.

Lately, Justice and Endorsements Committee in the parliament revealed a report accusing the Office of Endorsement in Aden of land looting. The committee also accused endorsement employees of robbing the endorsement’s registry documents.

The Yemeni Parliament also pointed to the governments’ weakness as it failed to protect investors from the frequent aggression on their properties, especially in Aden and Sana’a. The chief of Lands and Estates Authority Office in Aden, Yahya Ba Dwaid, admitted that some legal failures led to the crisis of land in Aden, which in result affected social peace in the governorate.

German development agency GTZ’s advisor, Gabrielle Hermann whose agency is now working with the Yemeni Court of Commerce to find faster solutions to people’s cases going through court procedures, said that most of the cases in courts were that of land looting. “Despite the fact that I obtained a court order reinforcing my rights to the land I bought in the capital, several men including President Saleh’s relatives still claim they are the owners of it “ said 46 year old Ali Hassan Al-Ezani, who bought a land in the capital more than 10 years ago.

Further, a number of citizens in Sana’a claim that their lands were taken away by authorities, saying that the land will be used for public parks, while they later realized that they were used to build private villas and houses for high ranking officials.

According to official estimates, conflicts over lands between the owners and looters result in 1,500 death cases every year; let alone the number of those injured in clashes.

A study conducted by the National Democratic Initiative revealed that 80 percent of revenge killings are motivated by disputes over lands.

However, land problems in Aden date back to the times of political conflicts when socialists were in power, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. Citizens during that time were denied the rights to possess lands.

WJWC Denounces Closing 21 Radio Stations

Filed under: Media, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 11:48 am on Monday, October 20, 2008

This whole Stalinist thing is going a bit far.

Women Journalist without Chains Organization denounced the outrageous aggression against private radio stations in Hadramout governorate. On October 1st, 2008, apparatuses in Tarim district, Hadramout governorate, closed down 21 radio stations after they had confiscated their broadcasting equipments under the pretext that these stations are not licensed by Ministry of Information.

While the organization shows solidarity with owners of these radio stations and their editors, it considers that closedown of the stations is an outrageous aggression against freedom of expression in Yemen. It also confirms that Ministry of Information confiscates, in its act against the stations, a constitutional right which guaranteed, for all Yemenis, the right to practice freedom of expression through all audio, visual and written means. The organization maintains that Ministry of Information aggresses the rights of individuals, parties and organizations to possess audio and visual mass media as well as confiscates the rights of Yemenis to obtain the information and circulate it.

WJWC calls on all advocates of freedom of opinion and expression to show solidarity with these radio stations. It further appeals to all the international organizations concerned with human rights and freedom of expression to exert pressure on the Yemeni government to fulfill its international commitments with regard to human rights and freedom of expression, end the siege imposed on the right to possess private audio-visual mass media, stop official violations against freedom of expression and people’s right to have access and circulate the information.

21 Private Radio Stations in Hadramout Closed

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:48 pm on Friday, October 10, 2008

SANA’A,
NewsYemen

Yemeni Ministry of Information reportedly closed 21 private FM radio stations in Hadramout October 1st and confiscated equipments and said they are not licensed by the ministry to work.

The Women Journalists Without Chains has condemned the closure and expressed solidarity with stations that it said were working according to constitution. The ministry restricts right of Yemeni people to get information, said the organization.

Head of the Information Ministry’s office in Hadramout, Ibrahim al-Junaid, said the closure came out of fears that such stations might broadcast ideas that encourage violence and terror. “Every group want to have radio stations…this violates constitution and law as such stations are unlicensed”, said al-Junaid.

Prison Conditions

Filed under: Civil Rights, Ministries, prisons — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Saturday, September 13, 2008

HR Minister doing good stuff.

YT

SANA’A, Sept. 4 — Human rights’ violations, lack of medical care and insufficient nutrition plague the Central Prison in Sana’a city, the House of Social Guidance and Dar Al-Amal for female juveniles. This is according to a revealing report, released last week by the Minister of Human Rights Dr. Huda Al-Ban, who visited the prisons between June and July 2007. (Read on …)

1650 Officials Not Submit Financial Disclosure

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:17 am on Saturday, September 13, 2008

SNACC looms prosecuting 1650 Yemeni officials

SANA’A, Sep. 13 (Saba)- The Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) loomed on Saturday prosecuting 1650 Yemeni officials who didn’t deliver their financial disclosures yet.

Member of NSACC Mohammed al-Matari said that the number of financial disclosures received by the national commission reached to 5200 financial disclosures.

The al-Matari pointed out that the SNACC had sent legal notes to officials in some government bodies whom exceeded the legal limit for the delivery of financial disclosures.

“The SNACC is going to take a legal action against those officials”, said al-Matari.

Justice Takes a Holiday

Filed under: Judicial, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:19 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not that things are much better when the courts are in session

Zawya

10 August 2008
Judiciary activities at all court levels have ceased following the judges’ annual leave which will continue to the end of October. Some case delays may continue up to December, because some judges go on pilgrimage trips. The long judges’ leave will affect the suspects, detainees at courts and prosecutions as well as the newly litigated cases, because they cannot be referred to courts, charged or acquitted.

Lawyer Abdulghani Ali al-Kahzan, said that the leave delays all cases, including those which have only one session to conclude, with the suspects most probably to be released. He added that some judges’ transfers are carried out during the leave, leading to extending the trial’s period, for even the ones need only one session to conclude, because the new judge needs to reconsider the case. The prosecution also experiences similar conditions.

The justice ministry should reconsider the Tho-alqaida month’s annual compulsory leave. He added that the actual annual working period of the judiciary is only half a year.

In a related issue, 264 judges and prosecutors were transferred last week. Appeal judges transfers were carried out by the supreme judiciary court and the ministry of justice last month.

Only 30 Unhappy People in the South: Defense Minister

Filed under: Biographies, Military, Ministries, Russia, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:07 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

26 Sept

Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed concluded a successful several-day visit to Russia.
During his visit to Moscow, the Defence Minister held talks with a number of Russian officials on the aspects of cooperation relations between the two countries, particularly in fields of military and Combating and preventing terrorism.
Ahmed also met at Yemen’s embassy in Moscow with Yemeni undergraduates studying in Russian military academies in which he delivered a speech focusing on a number of the national issues and the latest developments witnessed in the homeland, especially the rebellion movement in some districts of Saada governorate.
He confirmed that his country’s government had dealt with the al-Houthi rebellion in accordance with the interests of the country.
For the concern situations in some southern provinces, Defence Minister Mohammed Ahmed considered them “an expression of less than 20 or 30 persons only”.

4000 Houses, 26 Mosques and 116 Schools Destroyed in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Biographies, Civil Rights, Military, Ministries, Saada War, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 7:05 pm on Saturday, August 9, 2008

These figures of property damage in Sa’ada were first released in July 2007, so the totals are certainly much higher now after the fifth war. In the mean time, prominent activists including al-Khaiwani remain in jail. Another is Mohammed al-Miftah, who is on a hunger strike after being disappeared by the Interior Ministry.

Sahwa Net – The head of Al-Haq Party’s shoura council Mohammad Miftah has been going on a hunger strike since two months. Miftah who was kidnapped by gunmen belonging to the Interior Ministry on May 21, 2008, said he would not suspend the hunger strike until he is released…It is worth noting that the authorities suspect that Miftah belongs to the al-Houthi movement in Saada.

This is the same Miftah who Amnesty International called a prisoner of conscience. A Zaidi cleric Mohamed Miftah was released in May 2006 apparently after receiving presidential pardons. He had been serving an eight-year prison term.

And Ali Mohsen surfaces…

Mareb Press: The governmental committee assigned to evaluate and count the damages caused by the rebellion in Sa’ada province returned today to the Sa’ada, chaired by the Minister of Local Administration, Abdul Qadeer Hilal, and the Deputy of Prime Minister for Security and Stability affairs, Rashad al-Alimi, Minister of Defense, Mohammed Ahmed, and commander of the Eastern North region, Ali Muhsen al-Ahmer.

The committee will visit military and security units in the province to inspect the condition of soldiers.
Meanwhile, the cabinet studied yesterday the initial report on counting the damages caused by the armed rebellion in Sa’ada province, prepared by the committee chaired by Abdul Qader Hilal, Minister of Local Administration.

The cabinet directed the committee to carry out field visits to Bani Hushiesh district in Sana’a province to evaluate and count damages caused by the rebellion and including its findings in the report to be raised to the government.

A total of 4141 houses, and 88 farms were damaged in Northern Province of Sa’ada during the war between the Al Houthi rebels and the government troops, said a primary official report on Tuesday. The report which was carried by the state-run news agency Saba said some 201 public installations including 116 schools, 36 health utilities, and 26 mosques were also either wholly of partially damaged.

Source: IRIN

A recently formed government committee has faced problems assessing damage to buildings and property in conflict-hit Saada Governorate, northern Yemen.

Committee members had to return to the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, after being intercepted in Mashor village Saada Governorate, by pro-government tribes who said they, not the al-Houthi rebels, should have priority when it came to government assistance. The pro-government tribes did not want the committee to start assessing the damage in “pro-al-Houthi villages”, demanding instead that the government give them priority assistance as a reward for fighting on the government side.

However, a few days later, on 6 August, the committee went back to another part of Saada Governorate on the orders of the Cabinet, to try and complete its assessment.

Minister of Local Administration Abdul-Qader Hilal, who chairs the committee, said: “We will work in accordance with the president’s orders and the state’s strategy to promote peace and reconstruct Saada.”

An interim report by the committee, which was set up on 22 July, said 4,141 houses and 88 farms (including 24 poultry farms) had been damaged in the past two months alone, due to the fighting. It also said 201 public buildings were damaged, including 116 schools, 36 health centres and 26 mosques in the same period.It is unclear to what extent a ceasefire in mid-July – following a deal between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and representatives of the rebel leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi – was holding. Local media have reported continuing sporadic clashes between the two sides.

Meanwhile, local media reports indicate that some army leaders were reportedly not happy when Saleh tried to end the fighting before they could defeat the rebels.

Rebel allegations

A statement by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi’s information office on 3 August said some army leaders were trying to violate the ceasefire deal: unidentified army officers had set up four military checkpoints on the main road to Har Sufian, a pro-al-Houthi area in Amran Governorate. It said there were other violations, which had resulted in the killing of a number of citizens.

In November 2007, a government committee said 3,375 properties had been damaged in five of Saada’s 15 districts, but the assessment was cut short by the fighting.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced during the clashes in Saada Governorate since 2004. According to the 2004 population census, Saada Governorate has 81,568 houses and a population of some 700,000.

Surprise! Prison Visits

Filed under: Ministries, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 7:21 pm on Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good for her! A surprise visit to the prisons is just whats needed. They wont be able to kick her out or beat her up like they do with the MP’s who visit.

Yemen Observer:
The Minister of Human Rights Huda al-Ban today began a surprise visit to inspect prisons in Ibb and Taiz governorates in order to view the conditions of the prisoners and prisons facilities.

Close sources reported that the Minister will check on the duration of imprisonment and will set free some penniless ones who have served the majority of their terms and were indebted with large fines. The Ministry will pay the sums to creditors for them, from the fund set by the Vice-President for this purpose.

The same source added that the minister will check prison conditions from the point of view of cleanliness, food and treatment of prisoners, since cells are houses of correction and reformatory aimed to rehabilitate prisoners into the community. In case the minister finds that any of the cells she visits do not meet the required conditions, she will report them to the cabinet including binding recommendations for the concerned ministries to reform them. The report will also include recommendations for punishing jailors who violate the laws that organize and deal with cells and respect for human rights.

The Ministry of Human Rights has released 155 prisoners, 10 of them women, from four governorates to help celebrate May 22. The Ministry paid more than YR 8 million as debts to creditors. Financial aid was offered to other needy prisoners as well.

1000 Officials Disobey the Law

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:54 pm on Thursday, July 10, 2008

SNACC to refer 1000 officials to prosecution

[05 July 2008]

SANA’A, July 05 (Saba) – The Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) threatened 1000 governmental officials to be referred to the public prosecution due to not submitting their financial disclosures to the authority.

The head of the Financial Disclosure Sector at the SNACC Mohammad al-Matari said that the authority sent last week messages to 1000 officials in more than 12 ministries indicating to their financial disclosures’ delay, the GPC-run almoatamr.net stated Saturday.

In strongly worded messages, the authority gave a week for those officials to submit their financial disclosures, otherwise it will refer them to the prosecution on charge of refusing implementing the Financial Disclosures Law.

Worth mentioning, SNACC received till the middle of last June 2400 financial disclosures for officials from various government bodies.

Minister of Expatriate Affairs Resigns in Protest

Filed under: Corruption, Elections, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 5:47 pm on Friday, May 30, 2008

Yemen Post

Ten days before announcing the new ministerial reshuffle, Minister of Expatriates Affairs Saleh Sumi’ee resigned from his post in protest against the constant demands by the head of investigation sector at the Anti-corruption committee to pay the due sums for the Yemeni community schools in the Horn of Africa.

Sumi’ee hinted that the head of the education center for community schools Abdul Bari Al-Dhamari embezzled YR 45 million over the years 1998 to 2002 at the leniency of Finance and Expatriates’ Affairs ministries. (Read on …)

8700 Cases of Corruption Among Ministries: SNACC

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries — by Jane Novak at 5:35 pm on Friday, May 30, 2008

Good report by the SNACC. It would be nice if there was any judicial enforcement to back up the investigations. YO

The first comprehensive investigation into corruption in Yemen has revealed 8709 corruption cases in the past 3 years. Astonishingly, 3932 of these occurred in 2007 alone. The offenders were the Ministries of Education, Health and Population, and Labour, Works and Roads. The most corrupt governorates were Ibb, Aden, al-Muhrah, and al-Muhwaid. (Read on …)

Dengue Fever Outbreak in Shabwa

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:33 pm on Friday, May 30, 2008

Health Ministry, little help

Over 500 persons effected by dengue in Shabwa
[30 May 2008]
SHABWA, May 30 (Saba)
- A medical source said on Friday more than 500 persons have been affected by a dengue fever outbreak in Shabwa province, south-east of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. (Read on …)

Corruption Cases SNACC: Construction, Education

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:29 pm on Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yemen Observer

The Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) announced last week that it is finishing investigations on six corruption cases, dysfunctions and financial violations of about YR 20 billion, said Dr. Bilqis Abu Usba’a in a recent report issued by SNACC. This report comes every three months and is submitted to the president and the Parliament as a disclosure of these cases. These cases are among 141 claims that SNACC received since the authority’s establishment last year.

The authority received 78 of these claims in the period from January to the end of March 2008. The authority’s report enlisted the major tasks that they undertook at the first quarter of this year, disclosing that most of the claims are allegations that are not competitive to the corruption concepts, and they are of a procedural judicial type. It said that 16 of these are of an administrative nature which the authority has no legal authorization to undertake.

Regarding the cases that are computable with corruption, the report confirmed that six of them are about to finish, while the others are still under investigation and follow up.

The cases, according to the report that are about to be completed, include Taiz-al-Turba road rehabilitation project, where the authority discovered financial violations amounting to YR 117 million out of the total agreed amount of YR 971 million

The scholarship trustee money of the higher education is also on of the authority’s discoveries, where the their investigations disclosed that there are accumulated trustee money in more than 27 countries, amounting to YR16,081,146,000 during the period 2001-2007.

The investigations on this case showed that there 2053 unauthorized applications, exerting pressure on the ministry and preventing application of equal opportunities, despite the president’s directions not to accept any illegal applications.

The report added that SNACC met with the minister and the relevant officials at the higher education, and agreed to summon the cultural attaches in order to settle the trustee money and to submit them to the prosecution, pursuant to the law.

The two sides agreed that an open meeting will be held for the relevant officials to come to a long term strategy that reconsiders scholarships situations.

The third case concerned the investigations over the Cairo fortress restoration, which disclosed YR3,559,698,000 violations in 2002, amounting to ten times of the project’s original cost reaching an amount of YR118 million.

The violations come under article 30 of the corruption law, notwithstanding the tender laws and the financial systems, on the procedures of the project’s implementation stages.

According to the periodic report the project was contracted in 2002 according to the then prevailing prices, which exceed those of 2007 prices, yet there were no technical designs, specifications, certain amounts in addition to entire absence of engineering observance to the project. This is in addition to granting the contractor reimbursement prices and technical specifications price differences in addition to undeserving transport and risk allowance costs.

The report stated that the authority stopped paying any extra sums to the contractor, and appointed an investigation team to assess the so far accomplished works to settle the real contractor’s accounts. The authority also asked COCA to conduct an audit.

The fourth case concerned the Thamar university staff ‘s claim over fraud in the faculty of engineering’s tender, however the authority addressed the prosecution to proceed on the case which is filed before them. It wrote to the Higher Education Ministry in order to return to work the staff members, who were transferred and replaced by others for filing the case, to their posts and to pay them back all their dues.

The fifth case was over the discovery of the authority that the Expatriate Ministry did not settle their trustee money for support of the East African community schools’ accounts for 1999-2007.

The authority according to the report asked the expatriate ministry to provide the payment documents of 1999-2007, however the ministry did not respond despite the repeated addressing.

In the authority’s report to the president and the Parliament, the authority said that they received 1060 financial disclosure reports at the first quarter of this year raising the total to 1219 during the period of September 2007 up to last March.

Law 30 from 2006 of the Financial Disclosure Act is applicable to all higher officials, higher administrative posts and higher financial posts. It also included the first quarter’s issues, cases being discussed, the resolutions, meetings and activities.

Law 39 from 2006 for anti-corruption stipulates that SNACC should submit unified quarterly reports to the president and the Parliament.

Endowment Lands Stolen Too, Dialog to Resume: al-Hittar

Filed under: Ministries, Religious, Yemen, land disputes — by Jane Novak at 5:11 pm on Saturday, May 10, 2008

YO

Hamoud al-Hitar
Judge Hamoud al-Hitar, Endowment Minister, said that he will resign if he fails in protecting the endowment lands and property against those who commit transgressions against them. He also said that he enjoys the president’s support at facing the endowment trespassers, whatever influence or authority they have.

Al- Hitar added that none are superior to the law, considering the parliament’s approval of the endowment law and the formation of the supreme endowment council as a big support for the endowment property protection. (Read on …)

Statement of al-Wasat

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:25 am on Thursday, May 8, 2008

MINISTER OF INFORMATION DEFIES JUSTICE

In compliance with the policy of violating the laws and in defiance to the court rulings, the ministry of information has ordered to prohibit the printing of Alwasat newspaper. This unlawful and illegal action confirms the intentions of the Minister of Information to disrupt the implementation of the existing laws and create impediments against the freedoms of speech and freedom the press.

Alwasat is shocked by the disobedience of the minister of information to execute the court’s orders, which demonstrates his acrimony against liberties, and thus shows the incredibility of the government related to its constitutional and international commitments to respect the laws and defend the liberties and freedom of press. It is contemptuous that the government has given the false impression to the donors and international community, of abiding to the laws and respecting the rulings of the judiciary, while one of its ministers is violating all the laws and showing irreverence to the judiciary.

We call on all national and international bodies, defending the freedom of press, to condemn the despicable actions of the government and one of its members, calling the regime to have the audacity to announce that the country is besieged under an undeclared state of emergency , where the constitution and freedoms are put aside and only the personal desires and wishes of are ruling the country.

The minister of information, through his disdainful actions is showing the real face of the authoritarian rule of the country.

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Al-Wasat independent weekly reported on Wednesday that the Ministry of Information has prevented all printers in the capital Sana’a from printing the paper challenging the rule of the court against the ministry.

“The Ministry of Information aggressive steps against al-Wasat are ongoing. It is a clear challenge against the verdict of the West Sana’a Court”.

Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) has denounced the new step of Information Minister Hassan al-Lawzi and considered it “obstinacy” against judiciary.

First deputy chairman of YJS Saeed Thabet has called al-Lawzi to respect justice as he represents the executive authority. “We want the ministry to be a good example of respecting the judiciary,” said Thabet.

Editor of al-Wasat Jamal Amer said “the minister is challenging justice”. “Information Minister’s measure has destroyed positive step taken by judge as if the ministry is consistent to defame the country”, said Amer.

Some leaders in the Ministry of Information told NY they are not satisfied with the minister’s measure against al-Wasat.

The West Sana’a Court issued last Saturday a verdict against the Minister of Information’s decision for revoking the al-Wasat license. The court also fined the Ministry of Information YR 50,000 in favor of al-Wasat as legal fees.

The Minister al-Lawzi accused the paper of “undermining the country’s highest interests through harming national unity and warm relations with brotherly countries”.

al-Wasat Reinstated

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Trials, Yemen, Yemen-Democracy — by Jane Novak at 10:22 am on Saturday, May 3, 2008

yay!!!

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The West Sana’a Court terminated on Saturday the decision of Ministry of Information to cancel the license of al-Wasat independent weekly and fined Minister of Information YR 50,000 ($250).

The Ministry of Information decided a month ago to cancel the license of al-Wasat claiming the paper published materials against the national unity and Yemeni’s ties with some countries. The Ministry has claimed the Law of Press and Publication allows it to take such a decision, but the editor of al-Wasat Jamal and Amer along with Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) and press freedom advocates have struggled against the decision which they said “has not legal base”.

Information Minister lacks jurisdiction: court

Sana’a, Yemen – A Yemeni court on Saturday annulled a decree by Information Minister Hassan al-Lawzi to close one of the country’s top opposition newspapers. The minister had issued a decree cancelling the licence of the al- Wasat weekly on April 5, citing violations against “national unity.”

The decree had said the withdrawal of the paper’s licence was “due to its publication of materials prohibited by the law and against the national unity.”

But now Chief judge of the West Sana’a Court Muhammad al-Qadhi said the minister “lacked jurisdiction to cancel the newspaper’s licence.” (Read on …)

Cabinet Reshuffle

Filed under: Ministries, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:14 pm on Friday, May 2, 2008

Unbelievable! President Saleh fired the civil service minister, the guy who actually implemented reforms and devised bio-metric ID’s, fired the 60,000 double dippers and ghost workers, and lots more.

The Fisheries Minister had to go. There’s so much corruption and “elite capture of donor funds” in the Fisheries Ministry. Can I hope? No, not after the al-Jawf election being overturned.

The (former) governor of Saada is very hard core, yes? And now he’s the interior minister?

May 22 Sana’a, Yemen – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered a cabinet reshuffle Monday, appointing six new ministers as part of government reforms promised after a wave of violent protests in the south of the Arab state, state media reported. The portfolios affected by the reshuffle were oil, interior, electricity, civil services, expatriate affairs and fisheries, the official Saba news agency said.

Saleh named Yemen’s ambassador to France, Ameer Aidarous, as oil minister to replace Khaled Bahah, who has held the post since 2006.

Mutahar al-Masri, governor of the restive north-western Saada province, where government forces have been fighting Shiite rebels since 2004, was appointed interior minister. (Read on …)

Corruption Widespread

Filed under: Biographies, Corruption, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:09 pm on Friday, May 2, 2008

Anti-Corruption Parliamentarians May Face Charges For Uncovering Corruption

And what do these percentages mean? How much of the ministry’s budget is lost to corruption?

Yemen Online

YEMEN: Oil, military and security “most corrupted” areas – says report
Sana’a, April 29, 2008 (Yemenonline.info) – Yemen’s Parliamentarians Against Corruption (YEMEN PAC) recently issued a report demonstrating that corruption is widespread in the areas of oil, military and security.

According to the report corruption is spread the most in the fields of oil, military and security.

“Corruption spreads in the oil, military and security areas by 87.2%, 61.8% and 60.9% respectively,” said the report.

A government source firmly denied the content of the report on the multitude of corruption in government sectors.

According to the report, corruption spreads in the areas of health, diplomacy, fisheries and agriculture by 53.6%, 48.1%, 35.4% and 33.6% respectively.

Doha-based Al-Jazeera kept broadcasting excerpts from the report during all its business news briefs on Monday.

The source asserted the government’s right to prosecute those who prepared the report for harming and libeling the country by allegedly providing false information about its institutions.

“The government may also demand lifting diplomatic immunity of those parliamentarians,” the source concluded.

News Yemen

Good for the bio section
(Read on …)

Minister Attacked in Papers

Filed under: GPC, Local gov, Ministries, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:08 am on Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yemen Online

Sana’a, April 19, 2008 – Several government funded weeklies are launching a media campaign against Minister of local Administration, Abdulqader Hilal accusing him of corruption and leaking information to the opposition.

These newspapers reported that some government officials are working to prosecute minister Hilal for corruption charges and for leaking information to the opposition Joint Meeting Party (JMP).

The papers did not said what sort of information Hilal revealed to the opposition parties.

According to the newspapers Hilal is financing the so-called separation movement in the south.

Taiz-based A-Gomhoria government daily published an “alleged” interview with minister Hilal several days ago in which the paper “on behalf’s of Hilal” attacked political parties in the country.

The newspaper published and apology after Hilal denied that he did the interview and explained that the text of the interview was sent to the newspaper by a reporter working for the defense ministry-funded 26 September weekly.

A source close to minister Hilal expressed surprise over the media campaign government-funded media outlets are launching against Hilal. The source said that in protest minister Hilal is staying at home these days.

Minister Hilal enjoys good reputation and popularity mainly amidst people of the south. He served as southern Hadramawt governor before he assumes his current position as the minister of local administration.

16 Billion YR Lost Overseas, Woops

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:53 am on Friday, April 18, 2008

Kudos to the SNACA for addressing the issue. Where did the money go? That’s a lot of money.

al-Motamar

Almotamar.net – The Supreme National Anti-Corruption Authority (SNACA) gave Yemeni cultural attaches in Yemeni embassies in 46 countries a 2-month time to settle funds in their charge before it takes measures against them and holds them accountable according to its authorities under the law.

The member of the SNACA, the head of information sector Yassin Abdeh Saeed the funds under care of the cultural attaches in 46 countries that since 2001 have not been settled amount to YR 16 billion, 81 million and 142 thousand, affirming the Authority’s follow-up of this issue with the ministry of higher education.

In this regard the SNACA official praised the cooperation shown by the Yemeni minister of higher education Dr Saleh Basura in this issue and issues of failures of which Mr Saeed the minister opposes them.

Al-Qirby Trip to US Postponed

Filed under: GPC, Ministries, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:32 pm on Monday, April 14, 2008

frosty

Al-Sahwa:

April 13, 2008 – Well-informed sources told Alsahwa.net that Washington cancelled a visit of the Yemen’s foreign minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, to Washington which was set to be in mid-April, indicating that this step was taken as Yemen rejected extraditing an FBI wanted, Jamal al-Badawi, suspected of bombing the USS Cole destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden.

This step followed a visit made by the FBI director Robert Mueller in which he met president Saleh and discussed terror issues.

A spokesman of the U.S. embassy to Yemen had told Alsahwa.net that the FBI director asked Saleh to extradite al-Badawi in order to prosecute him in a U.S. court.

The source pointed out that Mueller further discussed with Saleh issues of combating terrorism and updates of the investigations on the attacks which targeted the U.S. embassy on March 18 and the housing compound of Hadda on April 6.

“Mueller informed Yemen’s officials that U.S. ordered its non-essential staff and their families to leave Yemen due to those attacks which targeted the embassy and American oilmen” added the source.

Official sources said that al-Qirbi would visit Washington in mid-April and would meet the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in order to discuss mutual relations and how to enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas along with the Middle East prominent issues.

Yemen Observer

The Yemeni Foreign Minister said that he asked for a postponement of his mid April visit to the United States. In a special release to the Yemen Observer, the minister said that the visit was delayed by the Yemeni side because of incomplete arrangements for the visit.

The minister confirmed that the postponement is neither linked to Washington’s demand to extradite criminal suspects such as al-badawi, recent bombings in Sana’a or unrest in the south, nor the FBI’s manager’s visit. He asserted that the visit agenda will not change. It will consist mainly of the issue of bilateral relations, development and cooperation in political, economic and development fields, and regional developments such as terrorism and Iraq.

Al-Qirbi denied any crisis or tension in Yemeni-American relations, yet he pointed out that it is just a difference in opinion, over the al-Badawi case, the first suspect in the USS Cole’s attack to be charged, explaining that it is a constitutionally settled issue from the Yemeni side.

Yemeni media had published news of Washington canceling the foreign minister’s visit of mid April because of the Yemeni refusal of al-Badawi’s extradition, linking it to the FBI’s manager Robert Mueller’s unscheduled visit, in which he discussed terror issues with president Saleh, however, the foreign minister denied it.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy spokesperson said in a press release, “the Yemeni government told us that it postponed the foreign minister’s visit for contradictory schedule reasons.”

Media sources quoted the American Embassy as saying that the FBI manager Robert Mueller, asked during his meeting with president Saleh that al-Badawi should be detained in order that he would be tried in an American court over the American USS Cole attack.

Mueller’s visit was followed by evacuation instructions given to unessential US Embassy officials and their families, with the first group leaving Sana’a on Sunday morning.

Many observers described the American measures as unnecessary, adding that it is a sort of an American pressure on Yemen.

Political analyst, Saeed Thabit, thinks that the measure is unjustified because such things happen to the Americans all over the world. He says that this comes within the context of pressuring Yemen to provide more logistical and military facilities for America’s ‘war on terror,’ conscious of the geopolitical position of and its volatile neighbours.

Journalist Hamoud Munasar described the American step as unnecessary and unjustified, pointing out that Yemen has experienced worse conditions in the past without causing the Americans to take such measures.

Thabit expects a crisis to ensue if Washington continues pressuring Yemen regarding the extradition issue.

Thabit owed the sensitivity of the extradition of the Yemenis to be tried in America to two factors: one concerning the Yemeni constitution which prohibits extraditing Yemeni citizens to be tried in any foreign country, and the other one is regarding the unnecessary security disturbance to be entailed by such a step.

The Americans should consider a bargain in which Yemeni nationals incarcerated in America, including Mohammed Ali al-Moaid and Mohammed Zaid to Yemen, together with the Guantanamo detainees, are returned to Yemen in return for a Yemeni pledge to try anyone who is proved to be involved in violent or illegal actions.

Yemen recently witnessed terrorist actions against American interests, including the March 19 attack, that resulted in killing a soldier and the injury of tens of a neighboring girl’s school’s students, in addition to the blasts that hit American hunt employees’ resident complex in Sana’a on April 6.

International Condemnation of Al-Wasat’s Closure

Filed under: Civil Rights, Media, Ministries, South Yemen, Targeting, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:53 am on Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CPJ

Yemeni government cancels license of independent weekly

New York, April 7, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an order by the Yemeni government this weekend to cancel the license of the independent weekly newspaper Al-Wasat.

On Saturday, Yemeni Information Minister Hassan al-Lawzi ordered the newspaper’s license terminated because the paper had damaged relations with Saudi Arabia, and violated technical provisions of the press law, according to local journalists and official press accounts.

A Yemeni government spokesman who asked that his name not be used told CPJ that the Information Ministry revoked Al-Wasat’s license because the paper had “published articles threatening national unity, and spreading messages that promote violence and hate. Yemen supports the freedom of the press that adheres to professional standards and practices.”

“Contrary to the government’s lofty statements in support of a free press such shameful acts of censorship have regrettably become the norm in Yemen,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We call on the Yemeni authorities to reverse this flagrant measure immediately.” (Read on …)

New al-Ahmar Alliance with Saleh

Filed under: Islah, LNG, Ministries, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:02 am on Monday, April 7, 2008

A gas tender, a Parlimentary speakership and a Minstry, the boyz sold their postions cheap. Yes, dissappointing.

Yemen Times

These challenges facing the tribally-backed regime have pushed Saleh not to forward concrete actions, but revamp cracks in his tribal coalitions with Al-Ahmar family. Suddenly, the president was able to normalize his relationship with the sons of Al-Ahmar, extending a gas tender to Hamid, appointing another as vice speaker of Parliament and another as deputy minister of sports and youth. Hussein, who set up the tribal National Solidarity Council to irritate the regime, has been seen on TV with the president in some events.

This attests to Saleh’s allegations that these vocal and critical “boys” want their share of the cake and nothing more. Yes, this is the question. This restructuring of the tribal coalition is meant to challenge disturbances in Sa’ada and in the southern provinces. It is a coalition against the public’s demands. People were naively fooled when they believed that the sons of Sheikh al-Ahmar would side by the public and their pains.

Saleh has tried to develop a loose coalition with the tribe and Al-Ahmar family in particular but found it difficult, and therefore preferred to compromise with the new young leaders of Hashid. Such a technique might serve to extend the hold up of his regime, which is going through hard times, but will not rein in the outrageous people who felt disappointed in the man who promised to improve their living standards in the 2006 elections and now tells them to drink “sea water,” a gesture of recklessness.

At the same time, the protesters demanding separation are serving the regime’s interests, for the people are not in favor of separation. The solution to our problems which are embroiling the country into turmoil is not splitting again into south and north. The country cannot simply split into north and south. It would rather mean complete disintegration and fragmentation of the whole country, which means a bleak future for everybody, without exception.

Now, as the country is on the edge of a precipice, concrete solutions are urgently needed before it is too late and everything falls apart.

Just Out and Out Lies, Over and Over, About Everything

Filed under: Ministries, Saada War, South Yemen, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 2:50 pm on Sunday, April 6, 2008

No political detainees in Yemen jails, Minister says

[06 April 2008]
SANA’A, April 06 (Saba) – Justice Minister Ghazi Shaef al-Aghbari affirmed that all jailed persons in Yemen’s prisons have been convicted, refusing that there are political detainees in connection with saying or writing opinion.

At a meeting with German’s Human Rights Commissioner Günther Noke, al-Aghbari added that prisoners have all legal guarantees before prosecution and they will be released as they are acquitted.

He said that Yemen is always keen on improving legislations to meet with international human rights pacts, pointing out that the security systems do their job according to constitutional rules ensuring freedom for all people in the country.

He notified that the death penalty is used only against convicted people above eighteen years old.

At the meeting, the two sides discussed means to develop the bilateral relations in areas such as judiciary, legislatives and human rights.

Magazine Released

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:01 am on Monday, March 24, 2008

yay! that’s good news:

SANA’A,

The Ministry of Information released on Sunday the independent Abwab magazine after five day suspension at the Sana’a International Airport.

The first issue of Abwab magazine was suspended at the airport twice. It was first preventing from being distributed by Yemeni security two weeks ago because the airport security has claimed the magazine published “inappropriate” picture of president Saleh.

The government has again hold up “Abwab” and prevented its owner from distributing it for local readers because it has been printed in Dubai.

The undersecretary of the Ministry of Information Mohammad Shaher told the official daily al-Syasiah that the magazine had violated the publishing law as it had been printed in Dubai, not in a local printer. Shaher has also claimed the license of publishing was given to Nabil al-Sufi not to Yemeni Media Group as the magazine mentioned.

The editor and publisher of Abwab Nabil al-Sufi has denied claims of Shaher and depicted the suspension as “immoral blockade of the magazine”.

Al-Aimi doing a very poor job indeed

Filed under: Ministries, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:03 am on Monday, March 24, 2008

- Parliament questions Interior Minister over rampant corruption and poor performance in security agencies

Interior Minister Rashad Al-Alimi is due to appear before Parliament on Wednesday to be questioned about spread of corruption and poor performance in different security agencies affiliated with his Ministry, the weekly reported, adding that Parliament members want to interrogate the official over the repeated incidents of citizen kidnapping in the various governorate. Al-Alimi was summoned by Parliament for questioning over the repeated incidents of citizen kidnapping amid absence and ineffective role of relevant security authorities, which, according to MPs, are not committed to applying the concerned security laws. Parliament also put part of the blame on the poor performance of judicial bodies.

According to the weekly, many MPs from opposition caucuses and independents called for selecting a new parliamentary committee to be concerned with defense and security issues after the standing committee failed to play its required role and dropped responsibility in dealing with such critical issues that seem to threaten social peace and stability.

The NUPO mouthpiece went on to say that many MPs lashed out at the interior minister for not responding to previous Parliament’s summoning amid the worsening phenomenon of kidnapping, coupled with poor performance by the relevant security agencies. Parliament’s last week meetings discussed several heated issues, mainly price hikes of basic foodstuffs, child trafficking, poor security performance and repeated incidents of citizen kidnapping.

Al-Hittar Requests Netherlands Ban Film

Filed under: Ministries, Other Countries, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:58 pm on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Minister of Endowments and Religious Guidance Hamoud al-Hitar has formally demanded the Dutch government ban a film against the Holy Quran a Dutch member of the Parliament intends to release, said Saba.

The official news agency said al-Hitar talked on the issue with Netherlands ambassador of Netherlands Harry Buikema in a meeting on Wednesday, calling for exerting international efforts must be coordinated to prevent defaming religions and religious symbols to avoid tense situations.

Wilders said in an interview with Guardian the film is to be aired in the coming months. He said he has been warned that he may have to leave the Netherlands for his own safety.

Customs Authority Interview

Filed under: Business, Corruption, Ministries, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:49 am on Sunday, March 9, 2008

CA chairman: Blacklist for violators of customs law due to be issued soon

SANA’A- March 07 (Saba)- Chairman of the Customs Authority (CA) Ali al-Zabidi has revealed that the authority is preparing a blacklist for traders who breach customs law.

In an interview with Saba, al-Zabidi said that solutions to tackle issues of customs need safe measures and care for employee of the authority.

Saba: what are the key reforms taken in Customs Authority during two years ago?

Al-Zabidi: The reforms focused on two domains, one on legislation and the second on administration. The authority worked to review laws associated with customs tariff and correct some customs measures.

Regarding the administrative reforms, the authority has conducted a study over
restructuring the authority, held several training courses for employees, appointed skilled personnel and rehabilitated certain customs outlets in some regions like in Mukalla, and Taiz airport as well as set up new customs centers after agreement with neighboring countries within joint cooperation.

The authority also has supplied these centers with up-to-date customs systems. (Read on …)

Corruption Commission May Bring Charges

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Ministries, Presidency, Reform, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 10:36 am on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Update:

Through looking at the other side of the corruption cycle, the different levels of governance have varying degrees of involvement in corruption, ranging from the baselines to middle and high-level officials. However, the recent formation of the Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption has raised hopes in the sincerity of government’s efforts towards enhancing transparency and battling corruption.

However, spectators indicate that the anti-corruption commission will have limited success in any anti-corruption reforms, quoting that the commission has distributed over 3000 applications for the disclosure of net wealth to high ranking government officials, while less than 300 officials cooperated with the commission and disclosed their net worth. Challengingly, a source who requested to remain anonymous indicated that the president himself refused a request from the commission to take the lead and disclose his own net worth in order to influence other officials, but the presidential office turned that request down.

It is obvious that the anti-corruption commission will be facing a serious challenge if it is to succeed in its anti-corruption mission; however, the hope relies within the support of the international community and donor organizations such as the World Bank and USAID.

Original Post: The article doesnt mention how many declaration forms were sent out, I think its around 2000. Its a good system. As with everything else, the key will be enforcement. Publishing the names in the newspaper is not enforcement; legal action is. The state cannot be above the law, but it is.

al-Motamar

Almotamar.net – The Supreme National Anti-Corruption Authority (SNACA) in Yemen has on Wednesday threatened to refer all those who are lagging behind in delivering their financial declarations to prosecution to be accounted on heir properties and to be tried on charges of corruption cases in case they did not deliver those declarations as soon as possible.

Head of financial declaration sector at the SNACA Mohammed al-Matari told almotamar.net that the authority would in the next three weeks prepare statements of the names of those who failed to present their financial declarations and sending them to prosecution and trial.

The SNACA has earlier defined a date for all those involves in financial declarations in 60 days from receiving the form but many of those included have delayed in committing to that and that impedes the authority work. Al-Matari said the number of those who delivered their financial declarations from ministers, directors general and government officials is so far 592 persons, indicating to almotamar.net that all the ministers have handed over their declarations while many of directors general still have not delivered their declarations.

This measure comes at a time the authority has revealed that of investigations carried out by officials at the authority in 54 cases of corruption.

Head of Oversight Authority Implicated in Smuggling Banned Pesticides

Filed under: Agriculture, Medical, Ministries, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Government officials are also involved in drug smuggling, gun running, child trafficking. Its not just plain old State Capture, the state has been captured by criminal gangs. And this is why the water plan never gets implemented.

Yemen Times

SANA’A, March 4 — The Committee of Agriculture and Irrigation in the Yemeni Parliament disclosed last week the implication that officials in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Hodeidah governorate allowed banned pesticides to enter the country illegally through Hodeidah port.

The cargo consists of five 20 20-foot containers which contain 58,500 kiloliters of pesticides, going to Daghsan corporation warehouses in Sana’a city.

In its report, the committee said that the cargo of chemicals and poisons constitute a very dangerous risk to people’s lives, and can cause damage to the environment, plants and soil.

The committee asked for everyone who participated in letting the cargo enter Yemen to be handed over to the court for prosecution to be punished according to the Constitution and law. The report affirmed applying the punishments stipulated in law 25 for the year 1999 regarding the circulation of pesticides, on the importer Saleh Ahmed Daghsan.

The people involved in releasing the cargo of pesticides are Mohammed Ahmed Daghsan, the representative of Bin Daghsan corporation, Abdullah Shamlan, the head of the Oversight and Inspection Department in the General Department for Plants Protection. Ali Muhriz, the head of the registration department in the General Department for Plants Protection, Yassen Al-Naqeeb, the head of the Department of Oversight in the General Authority for Plants protection, and finally Omer Abdullah Al-Muqbli, a security officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

According to a report issued by Parliament in June 2007, the pesticides were released from Hodeidah port’s customs department and moved to Daghsan Corporation warehouses. “However, the pesticides were supposed to be stored at Ministry of Agriculture warehouses, but they were fully packed with other goods,” the report added.

Parliament member (MP) Moqtar Sadeq Abu Rass, who is also on the Agriculture Committee, stated that the container locks were broken by Daghsan corporation. “Daghasn broke the locks and sold the pesticides, so when the Ministry of Agriculture went to claim the cargo, they found that half of it had been sold and distributed in Taiz and Al-Dhale’e governorates,” said Abu Rass.

The committee expressed its regret that the public prosecution hasn’t notified the committee about the steps it has taken concerning the matter, despite transferring the issue to the public prosecutor on February 14, 2007. “The prosecution refuses to inform us about what they have done about the issue so far. It never informs us about anything under the pretext that the judiciary is independent,” added Abu Rass.

On his part, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mansour Al-Hawshabi confessed before Parliament the ministry’s inability to tackle pesticides smugglers, and requested the cooperation of all official authorities and people in restricting this dangerous epidemic.

During the February 26 Parliament session, Al-Hawshabi said that pesticides smuggling is ongoing and complained to the MPs that the prosecution hasn’t adjudicated in the smuggling cases that have been transferred to it from the ministry in the past. He mentioned that the ministry seized a 21-ton cargo of pesticides in Jabal Al-Nar in Taiz, and another 12 containers in Aden from an importer accused of importing a previous cargo of poisonous pesticides. He said that these issues have been transferred to the public prosecution, which hasn’t made any decision on them yet.

Al-Hawshabi added, “The problem isn’t in seizing these poisons; the stores of the ministry are full of them and using them will cause a catastrophe for the environment. What we need is to enforce the importers to get them back to their country of origin.”

Parliament neither advocated cooperating with nor to punishing the ministry. It didn’t excuse the ministry from responsibility, but suggested publishing a black list of smugglers’ names through the mass media. Moreover, the MPs asked that the officials who facilitated the passing of the banned cargo through Haradh strait be taken off the job and transferred to prosecution to be held accountable for their actions.

Two recent studies conducted at the University of Aden found that 118 kinds of pesticides are used in Yemen, mostly by qat farmers.

According to one study conducted by Abdul-Rahman Alawi bin Yehia, a researcher in the Environmental Studies and Sciences Center at the university, Yemen imports these pesticides under 555 trade names, and most of them are very dangerous.

Another study conducted by pharmacy students at the university stated that these pesticides cause chronic diseases such as cancer, behavioral changes, and liver and kidney diseases.

Yemenite Students Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Filed under: Education, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:43 am on Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yemenite Students Between a Rock and a Hard Place
written by Mohamed Tawfik Al-Mansouri Ph. D

The dilemma of Yemenite students has been starting and ongoing for decades. It is that have committed these vices and crimes by the tyrants’ regime with his dark, undeveloped and backward mentality. The branches of state security and military as well as civil institutions implemented these vices and crimes. Their aim and objective is to manipulate, destruct and drain the brain in order to monopolize the power and governance. They also intend to exploit and manage the national wealth randomly, obscurely and violently.

This tragedy is old and still ongoing. What has changed is there are new tools and implementations, which they used against students as well as citizens.

The strategies and mechanisms, as well as tactics used include violent oppression, as well as various forms of psychological warfare, including economic, political and social. This is done both openly and in secret. Therefore, their seasoning and poisons change as they continue to destroy the spirit and flesh.

Before and after the era of the Yemenite Imams, custody of education was banned and denied and no more modern schools or universities were built. However, in the modern-day of Republic, they have been opening the educational institutions and establishments. But, they have also been converting these important organizations into military barracks, combings and security organizations. They were managed by oppression, murder, violence, terrorism and crimes. This results in producing the same or worse qualities as before.

Both of the regimes have justified and explained their conduct to preserve the religion and law. Although, the truth is to prevent and prohibit understanding, and the giving of citizens their civil rights, as well as claiming on the urbanization. Therefore, they have been destroying the mind, which is their main purpose.
For instance, in the republican era of the 1970’s, the methods and styles of killing, murdering and assassinating evolved and increased. They practiced numerous crimes, including detention and house arrest, pursuit, harassment and killing. As a result of that, students emigrated, were killed or imprisoned, become disabled or committed suicide, or lost their mental health. The regime claimed that all of these things have been done to protect the religion, which is originally lost and damaged.

The regime still believes that science and knowledge are dangerous things and their first enemy, so they fabricate and prepared the accusations for liberals, intellectuals and cadres. For example, they accuse them that they are the ally of global socialism on Arab and Islamic systems, so they accuse them of national and humanitarian treason, in addition they accused them of religious treason, therefore, they consulted the religious people to have the permission of killing them. Then, they judged them and killed them due to the yuppies protocols of darkness. They killed them, aiming to stop the wheel of development and the preservation of the minority interests and their selfishness and aggressive authority.

The situation has not improved at the end of the 1970’s, 1980’s or after the theoretical unifying the country, which was announced on May 22, 1990. So, they used the students as black sheep in civil wars or wars against the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. Their aim was to eliminate them because they carried the light and education as well as that they are from the Al-Hojaria region or Taiz or central regions. By doing so, they protect the army because most of the army is from Zaidiyyah tribes. This act is the omnipotent proof of their racism, crime and brutality.

This dilemma of students’ problems involves racial and sectarian nature inherent in the mind of the obscurantist. Their future plans for the students is for calamity because the students’ sin that they are the lovers of science, knowledge and life with its virtues, and because they are prophets and messengers of civilization, justice and equality.

The quantity and quality of scholarship is distributed for associates and affiliates, far from the standard of honest competition, rates and skills. What remains is distributed to the students to eliminate them from the country for a period of up to four or five years, in order to lose their productive and active age. Then, they return after graduation to the dark judgments of being baath, socialist, nationalist or islamist or imperialist or other accusations for leaving the country or facing the death. These accusations, which are trumped up and fabricated , are used to ban the educated from being involved in the system. They eliminate them of participation in decision-making. Despite that, the state soldiers, army units and rulers have relations and cooperation with the Russians, the Arabs and the Americans among others. In addition, the state does not possess or consider of real developmental programmes.

The problems of removing the salaries and scholarships of the students is a deliberated case and also part of terrible, frightening, and brutal corruption, which is widespread in the state’s institutions and appears not only at schools, ministries, institutions of education but also in the Ministry of Finance, Foreign Affairs, embassies and other government’s organs apparatuses associated with mentioned organizations.

A bribe is necessary in the regime and is a part of its behaviour and doctrine. The exploitation of positions is easy and natural, so the regime gains money and it protects only its individual interests. It also assaults the rights by looting and banditry, where salaries, scholarships and fees of students are deposited in foreign banks for three months and their benefits go for gangs in the diplomatic corps in embassies. It also cuts off a small amount e.g. two dollars from each student. They explain that the exchange rates of the dollar against the riyal are in change. This is disgraced work, because the salaries of students sent reinforcements to the embassies of the full amount, and the announced information to students according to a law of Education and Higher Education Ministries under the issue of foreign mission said to payment of scholarships in American Dollars and in advance.

We also see the corruption and inequality that there are students that have four salaries and they are delegated from more than one ministry. On the other hand, we observe students drop proceedings under the omission or defect in the computer, the case omissions and imbalance lasts for three or four years.

The policy of cutting off students’ or the staff salaries is a statement that is taken from the proverb hunger you dog he follows you. Further more, before you became attacked you should start your attack in order to stop them of asking and struggling for their civil rights and providing the equality and equitable distribution of wealth for all, as well as stopping students from participation in decision-making. Hence, full surrounding is a duty under the principle attacked before they are preparing for confrontation.

The objective of starvation also is a psychological preparation to create new conditions to extort students and use them for inhuman jobs. In addition, to sell them in the local, regional and international slave market. The Yemenite modern system based on begging and trading land, honour and rights. They sell themselves and he who sells himself is easy for him to sell others under the slogans of parties or tribes or national and international cooperation.

Sales and piracy reached even for children, the God’s loved, and the sale of the governor for himself, his groups and citizens are done in different ways according to their laws they legalize everything, so, there are spiritual, physical and psychological sale. They are specialist and expert in this field, moreover; they have implementations. The most important thing for them is money.

Their ignorance and stupidity make them blind to see the wealth in the land and people, and they do not know how to manage them to benefit from its’ eggs, milks, fruits and brains. So they sell the expensive things to earn the cheaper, which is the money, which they spend it for their selfish purpose. By this behaviour, attitude and mentality all is lost.

Recently, they cut off and banned the students from their scholarships as well as jobs and privileges and they distributed and gave only for those who want to give. They kill students by their hands as well as across international criminal mafias. Hence, many students have disappeared or lived without any human emotional feelings. The condition of students is a tragedy in abroad and inside the country. They are in between a rock and a hard place. Where does your train drive and lead science, the homeland and us?

The followed solutions by the corrupt regime are a palliative for a short time by sending delegates from the ministries for disguising. Nobody gains anything from the followed procedures of solving the dilemma of student except the delegates, who benefit from travel allowance, the leeway and spend their objectives. Finally, they declare through their false media that the problem is solved and they eliminate corruption and spoilers. Although the solutions must begin at home and no need for traveling, the delegates from the ministries are the useless people of knowledge and science and are gainless and deadly.

I am neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but pessoptimist, and when the train starts working for the establishment the state of institutions and law my optimism will achieve the optimum and maximum.

There is nothing good comes by the unfair and corrupt as well as their institutions. For instance, in the embassies there are diplomats, who are murderers and the government protect them, they are fugitive from other tribes, because the revenge is a legal things in the state. In addition, embassies is full of sorts of whom are blind, prostitutes and thieves, who believe in the doctrine of vice. This is the same-called technocrat from the ruling and those who are illegal investments internationally and dealing with other nations Mafiosi. They fled laundering and criminals in the eyes of the world and even mafias. They become with their nations money in a history and in dilemma. Certainly, the end such these groups are the dustbin of history.

Problems after graduation are harsher and worse than before graduation. Some of absolvents had harm and hard life, so few of them immigrate and most of them accept inappropriate jobs, which are not related to their level of education, morality and ethics. When the absolvents morally fall, they become psychologically able to do anything and become acceptable be the authority too, unless he will be thrown into unknown determination to face million harmful obstacles as well as brutal and wild characters.
To homeland, students, scientists and citizens the almighty God says “help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression”. We do not have any choice except fighting and struggling. Both ways are the best thing for the emancipation of where we are, and God and humanitarian law gives us the rights to proceed.

Brother, sons and, friend, student, professor’s partners, farmers and workers we should in solidarity working together to better ourselves and homeland. My brother student in life and path you need only to demand full rights for yourself as human beings and citizens. If your only demand for salary and scholarship it is what the corrupt authority wants, and it is not going to give you it or deliberate and debate with you of it. So, demand your full rights to get a part of it. Finally, you must hitch you wagon to a star, stand up with the voice of the people, which is the voice of God and strike while the iron is hot.

Brother, student and teacher this is your case and it is in your hands to absorb and understand it. If you believe in what it contents then, you should spread and distribute it to all Yemenite students in the World as well as to students’ unions, federations and associations of Arab World and the globe. In addition to international human rights organizations. This is the first step in the journey of a thousand miles.

Al-Hittar Ready to Cut Ties with Denmark

Filed under: Donors, UN, Ministries, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:12 pm on Monday, March 3, 2008

Earth Times:

Sana’a, Yemen – A Yemeni minister said on Thursday his country could cut diplomatic ties with Denmark if Danish newspapers continue to publish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a manner deemed offensive to Islam. “If the Danish government does not stop those extremists who are hurting our prophet Mohammed, we will go beyond cutting economic ties, to cutting diplomatic ties,” Minister of Endowments and Religious Guidance Hamoud al-Hitar said. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Past Due USD 7.5 Million Electricity Bill

Filed under: Electric, Ministries, Other Countries, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 11:23 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

Its just going to get worse as oil revenue continues to decrease. From the Yemen Observer

News of a British company’s intention to cut off the electricity supply to some governorates was denied by Dr. Mustafa Buhran, Minister of Electricity and Energy. The Minister confirmed that the published news goes back to a previous dispute, and was obtained by a newspaper correspondent who either negligently published it, or published it with the intention of creating public unrest.

The Minister declined to speak about the agreement’s details, yet he mentioned that the agreement regarding electricity lease contracts was signed by the previous government, adding that the issue of debts had been dealt with.

Sources from the electricity corporation spoke of contracts with a temporary, off-shore electricity company for the sum of $3.5 million per month, to deal with current shortages.

Media news said that the British electricity-generating company had threatened the Yemeni electricity ministry with disconnecting the supply to six cities if they did not pay the outstanding amount owing of $7.5 million. Reports spoke of a British company by the name of Jericho, that has been supplying parts of Aden governorate, Hodeidah, Hadramout, Amran, Taiz and Sayoun with electricity according to a contract between the company and the ministry for the past year.

Sources attributed the company’s measures to the Yemeni corporation’s failure to pay the sum of YR1.5 billion ($7.5 million) for electricity supply for the months of December and January.

Some reports disclosed that the Yemeni Ministry of Electricity and Energy and its corporation are suffering hard times, as evidenced by their failure to pay the British company, which sells huge amounts of electricity used in lighting and operating industrial plants in the previously mentioned areas.

Critics of the electricity ministry said that it could have supplied these cities with power by building two generating stations at the cost of $60 million, instead of paying that same amount to the British company for a one year supply.

Yemen suffers a 30 percent deficit in electricity supply, due to the expansion of urban areas in addition to the demand for energy from rural areas and projects. It signed a contract with the British company in mid-2006 to supply the six areas with power.

Dr. Buhran told the Parliament that the Ministry’s revenues do not cover the cost of electricity production, because the revenue rate is less than 25 percent of the cost. “The government pays a subsidy to cover this deficit,” the Minister said.

Only GONGOs not NGOs Allowed

Filed under: Civil Society, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:43 am on Thursday, February 21, 2008

Politicized Ministry Rejects Legal License Application

almotamar.net – An official source at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour said Thursday that the ministry did not finalise procedures of license application for the establishment of the so-called ” Change Organisation for Defending Human Rights and Freedoms ” applied by the member of parliament Hamad Saif Hashid.

The same source told almotamar.net that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour actually rejected a request for giving license to the organistion because it lost its right to license because of its violation of legal conditions and criteria for such organisations and its name does not represent but a devised movement, no more.

On the other hand the source praised the organisations that follow the law for private societies and organisations in Yemen and they seek to enter the process of civil society through rightful and correct ways without violating the basics and criteria.

Second Phase of Wages Still Not Implemented: Oil Sector

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Ministries, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:33 am on Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I have to say I’d like to hear the Civil Service Minister’s side of this story. Previously the implementation of the wages strategy to different sectors was held up pending the implentation of important reforms removing ghost workers and double dippers etc. Both the education and health sectors had similiar issues; in which case the protests are directed at the wrong ministry.

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Employees of the Yemeni Oil Company started a sit-in Saturday morning demanding that the ministries of oil and civil service should quickly improve their situation.

They protested the delay of Civil Service Ministry to apply the second stage of Salary Strategy to oil sector employees and paying them the professional allowance.

Head of Oil Syndicate Mohammad Noaman told NY that “the sit-in came after many promises from the ministries of oil and minerals to give oil employees the new salary increase and professional allowance”, accusing Civil Service Ministry of obstructing the second stage of Salary Strategy and Oil Ministry of ignoring the demands of its employees and their situations. Noaman said: “the sit-ins will continue until our requests are met.”

An official source in the Ministry of Oil and Minerals said they have been ordered not make statements to media on the sit-in, but the Public Relations in the ministry told NY: “the protestors are just few employees and work at the company is not affected”. He asked NY not to make “clamor” over this issue.

Parliament Investigates, the Media Reports

Filed under: Agriculture, Corruption, Ministries, Reform, Yemen, Yemen-Corruption — by Jane Novak at 9:15 am on Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another hugely corrupt deal. Privatization is an important process for economic growth. It hasn’t gone very well at all. However, this report is very good actually in that the Parliament is investigating corruption and the media is reporting it. That’s the way it is supposed to work. Corruption is countered by transparency and accountability.

On this specific issue, the Ministry of Agriculture is an obstacle to the implementation of the water strategy, with about 90% of water used for agriculture and the vast bulk of that used in qat production. The ministries are not coordinating; some are profit centers for associated individuals while others are pushing to sustain Yemen’s viability into the future. Another example is the Health Ministry whose employees own many of the shops that sell the smuggled pharmaceuticals.

Yemen Post

A report by Agriculture, Irrigation and Fish Wealth Committee at Parliament revealed gross violations by the Supreme Committee for Privatization while selling the General Corporation for increasing genetically improved seeds as the real value was estimated at YR 1.8 billion while it was sold for YR 78.5 million with a difference of YR 1.3 billion.

The report demanded the Public Money Prosecution to act against some Ministry of Agriculture affiliates and Hadramout Deputy Governor for Wadi and Desert Affairs under corruption charges.

The corporation which was established in 1998 as a public company at a capital of YR 75 million and stretches over 6303 m2 was sold to Yemeni businessman Mohammed Al-Hadad.

In 2005, Hathramout members of parliament submitted a complaint to parliament demanding restoration of the corporation and abrogation of the selling operation; however, no action has been taken since then.

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is one of the ministries famous for rampant corruption especially in the Provinces Development Authority as is the case with Eastern Provinces Development Authority whose officials were accused of plundering YR 400 million together with $ 20 million under Desertification Fighting Program.

The officials of the authority now own villas and real estates in Sana’a whose total value reaches millions of dollars.

More from the Yemen Observer

The committee for agriculture, irrigation and fisheries in the Parliament has discovered a corrupt deal worth YR1,800,000,000 involving the General Company for Seed Production in Sayoun. (Read on …)

The Yemeni Diaspora in Mogadishu?

Filed under: Ministries, Somalia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:37 pm on Thursday, February 14, 2008

One dead in grenade attack.

MOGADISHU, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Yemen’s ambassador to Somalia survived a grenade attack on Thursday while attending a ceremony held by members of the Yemeni diaspora in Mogadishu, an aide to the envoy said.

Unidentified gunmen hurled a grenade at a school in the Bulo Hubey neighbourhood in south Mogadishu where the party took place, killing one of the guests and wounding two others.

However, Yemeni envoy Ali Masud was quickly escorted away by government troops before he was due to deliver a speech. (Read on …)

27,000 Double Dippers Fired

Filed under: Donors, UN, Employment, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:37 pm on Thursday, February 7, 2008

Good stuff!!!

Yemen Post

About 27,900 of duplicates and public employees receiving money while not working have been canceled from salary payrolls over the last period, according to Minister of Civil Service and Insurances Khalid Hamoud Al-Soufi.

Al-Soufi added that they are in the final stages for removing other 31,000 public servants from payrolls for not doing fingerprinting and photo identification system, noting they have already completed granting employee cards to all servants at the level of ministries’ offices, the capital, and 12 provinces out of 19 provinces.

He pointed out that his ministry has prepared all technical measures to implement the system in other governorates within 15 days. The system is due to be completed in all public and civil service units by the end of the current month.

Meanwhile, Al-Soufi told official media that fingerprinting and photo identification system is running well in army and security sectors, hinting the leaders of these units are cooperative, stating that none will be exempted whatever his post is. He expected to finish these measures by next September.

There are ten thousands of duplicate, counterfeit and absentees in military and security sectors and some work in both military and civil sectors at the same time.

Yemeni public servant still suffers under the current circumstances because of his low income and salary.

Wheat Price Manipulated

Filed under: Business, Civil Unrest, Ministries, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:23 pm on Monday, February 4, 2008

Ramadan 2006, same thing. The horders signed pledges not to do that anymore. The lack of inter-ministerial cooperation hindered any stronger measures.

Yemen Observer

More than seventy Yemeni trucks carrying huge amounts of Australian wheat were found on their way to warehouses located on the outskirts of Sana’a. These shipments were meant to monopolize Yemen’s wheat market, according to an informed security source.

This happened following recent reports released predicting an increase in wheat prices on the international markets. Wheat prices climbed to a record high of more than $10 per bushel on December 12, 2008, as strong demand had depleted the world supply. International reports also said that wheat railroad rates had increased from 2 to 6 percent per bushel on January 18, 2008.

However, the official website of the GPC ruling party stated that the hoarding of wheat stores were perfectly planned to trigger a market scarcity. It also spoke of a mafia organization that was allegedly monopolizing some important food commodities in order to create price hikes. These higher prices increase citizens’ sufferings as well as the state’s burden, acting to destabilize wheat price control procedures. According to the source, these are politically motivated measures.

“There are indications that there are intentional efforts to create unprecedented, politically motivated scarcities in wheat and cement,” said Gamil al-Jadabi, a reporter from Almotamar.net.
(Read on …)

Financial Statements

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:20 pm on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Its a very good law in theory, putting it into practice is facing some difficulty; however a benchmark is always a good thing.

Yemeni minister refuses to submit financial disclosure to SNACC

[16 January 2008]
SANA’A, (Saba)- A member of Supreme National Authority for Compacting Corruption (SNACC), the head of Financial Disclosure Sector Mohammad al-Matari said on Wednesday that SNACC has received 262 disclosures of Yemeni officials.

Al-Matari clarified that one minister has not submitted his financial disclosure till now although he received a formal apply from the authority.

Al- Matari pointed out that Defense Ministry is the 1st official body that submitted more financial disclosures of its personal to SNACC.

Al-Matari re-called all ministry deputies and assistants and general managers in all governmental bodies to submit quickly their financial disclosures according law No. 30 for the year 2006.

He also called the ministries had not submitted lists of the names of their employees included on the low to complete the legal procedures for enabling the authority to receive the 2nd stage of
the financial disclosures.

The law compels everyone of the governmental high-rank employees to submit their financial disclosures over their possessions, their wives’ and sons’ in the country orr abroad to the SNACC that will inspect and follow up these disclosures.Saba

Port Workers, Teachers, Laborers Strike

Filed under: Civil Society, Civil Unrest, Economic, Employment, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Monday, January 7, 2008

Are they ever all going to get together?

al-Sahwa

January 5, 2008-Workers of Aden Refinery Company stroke Saturday, demanding the second stage of wages strategy and professional allowances.

The two-hour strike caused paralyzing of ships supply in the port and stopping of work in all the company’s joints including its branches.

January 5, 2008 – Chairman of the Yemeni Teacher Association, Ahmed al-Rabahi, has affirmed that YTA is preparing to arrange an all-out strike in the coming days because the government evades meet the teachers’ their just demands; ;professional allowances, annual bonuses and ending all deductions and illegal levies that hit teachers under any various causes.

On the other hand, Aden’s public schools are keeping on a comprehensive strike for the fifth day.

Schools witnessed a large vacuum in which majority of students, especially high schools’ students, did not attend expressing solidarity with their teachers.

The Secretary General of the YTA in Aden had confirmed earlier that the strike came in response to non-implementation of teachers demands.

Yemen Times
-

Hadhramout workers go on Strike

Following calls by the labor association of Hadhramout, numbers of workers and civil servants have wore the red batches on their arms in protest for ignoring their demands for the implementation of laws 69/2005 and law 239/2005 for civil services, which includes a significant payrise which they were promised that will be implemented before the end of 2007.

Corruption Commission Facing Obstruction

Filed under: Donors, UN, Ministries, Parliament, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:30 am on Monday, January 7, 2008

Yemen Times

SNACC demands cooperation from top officials

The supereme national authority for combating corruption (SNACC) has demanded that top officials within the government to submit the total net worth disclosure statements in accordance to law number 30/2007. SNACC has received only 167 disclosure statement, while over 2,000 disclosure templates has been sent to various government agencies.

Expired Consumer Goods Seized

Filed under: Business, Crime, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:52 pm on Sunday, December 30, 2007

Who bought these items and did they knowingly contract to import expired items?

HODEIDAH, NewsYemen

The Public Authority for Controlling Specifications and Quality could seize a quantity of expired foods and harmful cosmetics cost as much as YR 61 million at Hodeidah port.

The authority could seize in the past few days 3000 packets of mango, 552 packets of cosmetics, 1793 packets of chocolates, 5400 bags of flour, 2835 packets of cleaning materials, all are expired and harmful for human, an informed source at PASQC tld NewsYemen.

The source said the seized materials would be spoiled or sent back to the source country according to law.

Nuclear Commission

Filed under: Electric, Ministries, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:51 pm on Sunday, December 23, 2007

SABA

Plan to protect Yemen from radiations not to be implemented yet

[15 December 2007]

SANA’A, Dec. 15 (Saba) – The Customs Authority’s head Ali al-Zabidi has called on the National Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) to implement its part in the agreement the two bodies signed at the beginning of 2007 on carrying out a plan to protect the country from the risks of radiation sources that may enter the Yemeni lands illegally.

He told Saba that the plan, which was scheduled to be implemented in collaboration with the NAEC, security authorities and coastguards, aimed at setting up updated apparatuses able to control strictly
land, marine and air outlets and to prevent any attempts of smuggling nuclear and radioactive materials.

Under the agreement, the NAEC should provide the authority with modern apparatuses and training the authority’s cadre on the use of them to thwart any smuggling of radioactive materials into the
Yemeni lands, but the agreement has not implemented yet, al-Zabidi said.

Gen. Yahya Saleh: Yemeni Terrorists Regularly Wear Women’s Clothing

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:40 pm on Sunday, December 23, 2007

almotamar.net – Yemen’s Interior Ministry announced last week its need for the recruitment of new 450 Yemeni girls as policewomen the security field.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry demand comes after it managed to recruit three thousand Yemeni girls in this field in the past three years. They have been able to prove the need of the society for them beside security men though the action was fac3ed with strong rejection by Yemeni Islamic political parties and a number of tribes that used to view the woman presence in the armed forces as a shame.

General Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, chief of general staff at the central security said a group of the policewomen had been employed in combating terror forces and that helped arrest terrorists disguised in woman’s clothes. General Yahya Saleh affirmed in a press statement it was discovered that some terrorists put on woman’s clothes and hide themselves in areas where there majority of women and they use women for protecting themselves. He added that male offices in the force cannot search women due to traditions.

Woman police in Yemen have achieved many successes and managed to fight all forms of terror. Women commandos have been able to foil many terrorist operations intended to be carried out by wearing woman’s clothes and managed to discover some women working for transporting explosives to terrorist groups, including the Houthi group.

Sa’ada Arms Market Explosion

Filed under: Ministries, Proliferation, Saada War, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:00 am on Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sana’a, Yemen – At least four people were killed and nine others injured after a powerful explosion rocked an arms market in the northern Yemeni region of Saada Thursday, witnesses said.

Witnesses said the explosion was caused by a cannon shell mishandled by a man trying to sell it at the al-Talh arms market in Saada, some 230 kilometres north of the capital Sana’a.

Al-Talh is the largest arms market in this poor country located at the south-western tip of the Arabian peninsula. Weapons are bought and sold openly in 12 markets and about 300 light weapon shops across the country. (Read on …)

Crime Drops After Weapons Ban

Filed under: Ministries, Proliferation, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:46 pm on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yemen Observer

Arms-related crimes have decreased by 60 percent and arms in Yemen have decreased by 80 percent in the past two months due to the campaign to ban the carrying of arms that began on August 23, said Deputy Minister of Interior, Brigadier Mohammed Abdullah al-Qusi last week.

Al-Qusi renewed his call to all citizens to cooperate with security forces and report on any violations of this ban in all governorate capitals. He also praised other groups that are helping to enforce the ban such as the military police and other units.

“According to statistics, we see that the number of arms carried in major cities is decreasing week by week which reflects the level of awareness that citizens have reached in realizing the importance of the ban,” said al-Qusi.

Since the inception of the ban until November 1st, the number of arms confiscated has been more that 45,000. (Read on …)

26 Bags of Banned Pesticides and 10,000 Dead Sheep in Yemeni Waters

Filed under: Enviornmental, Fisheries, Ministries, Security Forces, Water, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 9:16 pm on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ecological disaster already, fish washing up on shore.

HODEIDAH, NewsYemen

Reliable sources in Hodeidah said that Yemeni Coast Guards have found, two miles off Al-Salif port, 26 bags contain poisonous materials threw out in the Yemeni territorial waters near Camaran island by an unknown trade ship last Wednesday.

The coast guards along with teams from the ministries of fisheries, environment and maritime science are looking for more bags might be thrown out and washed by wind to somewhere else, said the sources. They said that many fish and other sea livings were found dead on shores near Al-Salif port.

Official bodies do not talk about this fearing a horrible environmental crisis may happen due to such materials if searching teams could not find them and get them out, said the sources.

Sources pointed that each bag contains 400 gram of such dangerous materials.

This incident came few hours after Yemeni Coast Guards lifted up bodies of ten thousand livestock hurled by a ship coming from the African Horn to water off Hodeidah coasts, according to official sources that did not identify the ship.

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Dec. 16 — 10,000 livestock have sunk in the red see as a result of a U.A.E ship turned over. Likewise, another boat, belonging to Yemeni traders, carrying a huge quantity of pesticides made the same problem in the red see. Livestock and pesticides endangered the Red Sea resources, confirmed Yaha Al-kynaei, Chairman of the Yemen Authority for Developing Yemeni Islands. (Read on …)

Huge Corruption Losses, Public Funds Court

Filed under: Corruption, Ministries, Reform, Trials, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:53 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

9 mil returned to the treasury

http://www.yobserver.com/local-news/10013429.html

“The Court of Public Money has retrieved $9,801,000 for the State Treasury from corruption cases in 2006 and 2007,” said Mr. Ali al-’Awash, the General Attorney of the Court of Public Money. The number of corruption cases addressed by the public money prosecution from the beginning of 2006 until the middle of 2007 amounted to 2,296.

There were 1,416 cases in 2006 in which the court was able to retrieve the amount of YR 1,279,063,382 as well as $1,023,400. The 880 cases that the court dealt with in the first half of 2007 retrieved an amount of YR 425,816,605, as well as $168,000. Mr. al-Awash said that although the courts dealing with the prosecution of public money were limited in terms of resources and money, they proved their effectiveness in contributing to the fight against corruption.

At a forum held last week in honor of the International Day of Fighting Corruption al-Awash said that the responsibility of fighting corruption requires a real and effective partnership and cooperation amongst all the parties concerned.

In the same way, the Head of the National Supreme Anti-Corruption Authority, Mr. Ahmed al-Anesi, said that the authority is studying several cases of corruption; administrative, fiscal and investigational, and when they reach verdicts these cases will be referred to the concerned sides and the individuals involved will be revealed.

News Yemen

Huge funds returned from corruption cases in 2006 and 2007
09/12/2007

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The National Supreme Anti-Corruption Authority (NSACA) and the legislative and executive authorities have agreed that billions of rials lost due to corruption in the last few years.

Celebrating the World Corruption Day, December 09, they have confirmed the need to combine efforts and ensure partnership between NSACA and eight government and private institutions that are concerned about
Corruption.

Head of NSACA, Ahmad al-Ansi said this day was a good occasion to bring partners in fighting corruption all together to discuss corruption as a public issue, not
the issue of a specific organization.

Al-Ansi called for activating the role of both legislative and executive authorities and developing the supervising bodies as well as society in general to eradicate corruption that damages national economy and hampers development.

We need to prevent corruption before happening, prevention is better than cure, said al-Ansi.

There were 1416 cases raised to the Public Funds Prosecution in 2006, said the lawyer at the Court of Public Funds Ali al-Awash.

Al-Awash said the court could restore over YR 1.279 billion and $1023400 to the Public Fund.

Early in 2007, the court looked at 88 cases of corruption and it could bring back more than YR 425 million and USD 168000, he added.

The head of High Judicial Council Esam al-Samawi said the council has tackled a number of corruption cases and that it has applied effective accountability and
extended inspection campaigns to protect the public funds.

We work together hand by hand with the National Supreme Anti-corruption Authority o fight this threat against our country so that Yemeni people can live
decent life, said deputy speaker of the Parliament Yahya al-Raee.

Head of the Central Organization for Controlling and Auditing (COCA) Abdullah al-Sanafi gave figures showing cases of corruption the COCA has found out in
the last two years.

On this occasion, the UNDP office in Sana’a has confirmed its readiness to help the judicial system and ministry of finance in Yemen prepare and manage transparent budgets in addition to building the capacities of civil society organizations.

Yemen Observer

The Public Funds Court, presided by Judge Abdul Razzaq al-Akehali, continued its examination of 16 different cases that ranged from embezzling and theft to usurpation, all of which involve the misuse of national public funds.

One of the adjourned cases has seen 22 employees from the Ministry of Health stand trial. The case concerned the quadruple cerebro-spinal fever vaccine case in which pilfered funds totaled YR129 million. Another case dealt with the aircraft fuel supply directorate at Sana’a Airport in which financial damages amounted to $613,126 in addition to an embezzled amount of YR2, 141,126. The case was adjourned to gather more evidence.

The same court postponed case No. 31/2005 that involved counterfeit official papers, appointment decrees and employment papers for 1,491 pseudo-employees at Al-Jawf Health Bureau in 2002. The 14 defendants had allegedly usurped the ‘imaginary’ employees’ salaries that added up to YR20, 172,573. The hearing was adjourned in order to collect payrolls bearing the defendants’ signatures.

Another adjourned case dealt with the repair and renovation of the Sam Al-Yemen ship. The Yemeni Economic Corporation (YEC), owner of the vessel, filed the case against the repairs contractor. The YEC’s loss amounted to $800,000. The case was deferred in order to collect further evidence.

Judge Ali al-Omaisi presided over another 12 embezzlement and usurpation cases including four for writing bad cheques addressed to the Tax Authority, two zakah evasions and various thefts in public departments.

In total, the court passed seven verdicts last week. Four cases were ruled to be referred to specialized courts, three others included embezzlements, the circulation of counterfeit money and the theft of public funds.

Illegal Fees for Civil Service Job Applications

Filed under: Corruption, Employment, GPC, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:22 pm on Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Yemen Observer

IBB – A number of candidates for jobs in the Ibb health bureau claim to have been blackmailed by officials after submitting their CV’s and other files for the purpose of employment.

The total number of the candidates to be taken on by the office this year is 239. They say they were asked to pay YR 5,000 for each file. The candidates complained about the blackmail to the governor of the province, Ali bin Ali al-Qaissi, last Monday 25th November. The governor has formed a committee to look into the accusations

The committee found officials guilty while they were receiving the files of the candidates last Monday. The committee also received hundreds of complaints from new job seekers against the office of the civil service in the governorate. They accused the civil service of tampering with their dossiers.

Malaria Cases Decline

Filed under: Donors, UN, Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:54 pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Malaria cases decrease to 800,000 yearly, says Official

[04 December 2007]
SANA’A, Dec. 04 (Saba)- Malaria cases decreased from 2,500,000 to 800,000 cases annually, Minister of Public Health and Population Abdul-Kareem Rase said on Tuesday.

In his speech in opening session of the annual regional meeting for the Middle East and North Africa of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Rase said that the decrease reflected strong cooperation between the ministry and the fund who supports efforts of the ministry to combat these diseases in the country.

Taiz Teachers Transfered for Protesting

Filed under: Civil Rights, Education, GPC, Ministries, Targeting, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:02 am on Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just like after the elections, punitive measures follow the expression of civil rights, demonstrating that the state bureaucracies, which should be apolitical, are rather an arm of the ruling party.

Al-Sahwa: November 26, 2007 – National Committee for Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) denounced transfer of 20 teachers from their schools in the wake of their participation in a protest held in Taiz province.

HOOD’s member, Twafiq al-Shoaibi, said that such arbitraries are illegal and lawless, aiming to deprive those teachers from their rights.

Hadramout Teachers Rep Fired by University Head

HADRAMOUT, Nov. 18 — Teaching staff at Hadramout University of Science and Technology have begun raising warnings, demanding the university administration meet their demands, which include applying the Law of Yemeni Universities at their university. They further demand administrative and academic reforms at the university.

The problem began Aug. 29 when the administrative board of the university’s teaching staff syndicate released a statement claiming 16 rights and demands by teaching staff. However, university Rector Ahmad Omar Bamashmous did not respond to their demands.

After their statement’s release, the teaching staff syndicate said it would escalate the situation through a partial strike. This dissatisfied Bamashmous, who considered such action an assault against the university.

Moreover, the protestors say their demands are not about money; rather, they simply demand reforming the academic and administrative board.

In an effort to resolve the problem, Bamashmous accused the syndicate of escalating the political situation in that region, alleging that they are related to protestors in Yemen’s southern governorates.

The problem worsened when Bamashmous called for the university council meeting, at which he removed the syndicate’s legally-elected representative.

However, the syndicate claimed the meeting was illegitimate, demanding the meeting’s minutes be cancelled. Despite the intervention of the governor, Bamashmous refused to meet the syndicate’s demands, for which the syndicate threatens to escalate the situation they remain unmet.

Social Affairs Minister Disqualifies 40.000 Social Security Recipients

Filed under: Ministries, Reform, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:53 am on Wednesday, November 28, 2007

That’s very good, and proposals to combat child smuggling. She’s going to run into conflict from the officials who are making the money from selling kids.

Al-Motamar

almotamar.net – The minister of social affairs and labour Dr Amat al-Razzaq Humd said Monday her ministry has deleted 40 thousand cases not deserving cases from statements of social security along with drawing up a new mechanism depending on differentiation between the deserving through the computer.

The announcement came while the minister was on Monday reviewing measures of her ministry taken for solving the problem of Yemeni children smuggling at meeting of the Children Parliament.

The minister referred to proposed legal amendments being considered by the parliament including incrimination of smuggling children from Yemen and rising the age of the juvenile to 18 years. She also talked about formation of joint committee grouping her ministry and the ministries of interior and defence and local authorities in the border governorates.

The minister of social affairs and labour also praised the UNICEF organisation role in bringing closer the Yemeni and Saudi viewpoints on children smuggling resulted in holding many meetings of Yemeni-Saudi committees that agreed on preparing a study including statistics by a neutral expert and two representatives from each of the two countries.

It is to be mentioned that the government ha taken some treatments for the problem of children smuggling among them the building of centres for the rehabilitation of the returning children and expansion in cases of social security in the border governorates, amounting to one million cases in various governorates of the country.

Defense Ministry Demands Execution of Three Journalists

Filed under: Media, Military, Ministries, Saada War, Targeting, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:07 am on Monday, November 26, 2007

They wrote an article documenting 9000 Salifi Hashid tribesmen fighting in Saada, some were killed by friendly fire. And members of the Abyan-Aden Islamic Army training those fighters. Doesn’t the regime realize that by over-reacting like this, they are giving credibility to the allegations?

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Nov. 25 — Editor-in-Chief of Al-Share’ Weekly Nayef Hassan, the paper’s managing editor Nabeel Subei and Mahmoud Taha, a reporter, appeared on Saturday before Chief Judge of the State Security Penal Court Ridhwan Al-Namer at the first hearing for a lawsuit filed against the newspaper by the Defense Ministry.

At the hearing, the press members demanded that the court adjourn the hearing so that they can appoint a lawyer to defend them. The judge then accepted their request and adjourned the trial until December 8.

The three journalists were summoned last Wednesday to appear before the court after the prosecution investigated them regarding the lawsuit by the Defense Ministry against them for publishing a story about voluntary fighters who support the army in the Sa’ada fighting. The indictment demanded that the three pressmen be executed under new legal provisions.

Referring Al-Share’ Weekly to State Security Court provoked protests at domestic and international levels because the court specializes in terrorism and not in publication or press issues. (Read on …)

More on the Confescated Nuclear Medicine Device

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Monday, November 26, 2007

Squabbling ministries again. Where are they now, the 2 million dollar device and the bank guarentee? (Earlier posting here.) The Energy Minister sent soldiers to block the nuclear medicine team from entering the premises. The Atomic Energy department refused to stamp the paper. Its quite a multifaceted device.

SANA’A, Nov. 24 — In an illegal action, the director of the National Center for Cancer Swellings confiscated the bank guarantee of the company which implemented a project to set up a linear accelerator to treat cancerous tumors. The device, valued at $2.660, was confiscated under the pretext that the time limit given for setting up the plant had expired. The device was supposed to be set up last September, according to the contract signed by the center and Al-Masiyah Company for Trading and Information Technology.

Previously, Dr. Nadeem Mohammed Sa’eed, director of the National Center for Cancer Swellings, who is also in charge of the National Committee for Atomic Energy headed by Minister of Electricity and Power, Mustafa Bahran, accused Bahran of hindering the plant and sending soldiers belonging to the committee to the center to prevent the company’s engineers from entering the plant site. He also confirmed that Al-Masiyah committed to abide by the contract agreed upon, and in case the company takes the matter to court, it will win the case and be compensated.

Mohammed Ateeq, manager for Al-Masiyah, considered the confiscation of the bank guarantee illegal, because the time limit for the plant is nine months from the date of receiving the work site, not from the date of signing the contract, as stipulated in the eighth clause of the contract signed with the Center. The Center refused to give the site to the company, hindering it until the date of submission expired. The National Committee for Atomic Energy also refused to stamp the documents and proposed amendments to the room designed for the linear accelerator, submitted to the company in mid-March. He further affirmed that the company resorted to a lawsuit in an attempt to seek justice and compensation for the company’s losses.

Ateeq also noted that the company committed itself to abide by all the articles written in the contract according to the ministers’ council resolution No. 262 of 2006. But the National Center for Cancer Swellings and the National Committee for Atomic Energy were in dispute with each other, resulting in hindering the plant and implementing it in the determined period.

Well this is reassuring, kinda: EPA: One of the benefits of accelerators is that, unlike radioactive sources, they only produce radiation when they are operated. However, radioactive waste is produced during their operation. This waste is generally short-lived; decaying in less than one year and may be stored at laboratories or production facilities until it is no longer radioactive. An extremely small fraction of the waste can remain radioactive for more than one year.

Teachers Protest in Ibb

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Education, Ministries, Reform, Unions, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yemen Observer:

IBB – The Yemeni Teachers Syndicate in Ibb organized a huge sit-in demanding the implementation of the wages codes on Wednesday, November 21st. Protestors, from across the province gathered in front of the governorate building.

The sit-in lasted about two hours from 9:00am until 11:00 am, during which time several speeches were delivered by representatives of the YTS. Protestors chanted slogans which bear witness to their complaints; “Oh, government of corruption a hike of prices has prevailed all over the country”, “Oh, government of despair, where is the increase in wages, the government is on the TV, in reality, there is no achievement. Oh, minister, oh Jawfi, to hear hunger is enough, Oh, Minister, Oh, Mojawer, don’t denounce or deny our rights.”

In a statement, the protestors demanded the release of the second phase of the wages law beginning July 2006, the third phase from July 2007 according to the 43rd item of law for 2005, and the release of allowances, bonuses and salaries held back for years to be paid in cash to all government employees, since this was agreed to in this year’s budget, and YR82 billion was set aside for this purpose.

They also demanded the maximum increase of the second phase (YR100,000), the third phase (YR130,000), and the beginning of a financial connection for degrees to be re-allocated evenly and fairly among employees.

With reference to the bonuses, they demanded the granting of the bonus to all who deserve it, as of July 2005 until August 2006, and the bonus for educationalists in general to be at a rate between 60-110 percent, depending on one’s qualifications. This is according to documentation signed by three syndicates – YTS, GUTEP and UTP – and the ministry of education committee on July 31st, 2006.

They also demanded bonuses for instructors, administrators, teachers of the Qura’n and all those who have been deprived of this right in the education, health, engineering and other sectors. They demanded the rural exchange allowance be paid retrospectively to all staff in rural areas who have been deprived of this right. They also demanded the return of sums illegally deducted from salaries in October under false names and the investigation and trial of those responsible.

“These are our fair and clear demands, they are the demands of all teachers, male and female, in the ruling party or in the opposition, from all schools of the Republic. These rights are for all, they have nothing to do with policy and, for the purpose of quick implementation, we announce the launching of the new phase of peaceful legal activities for this year, as in the other governorates of the Republic,” said Abdussalam al-Khudairy, secretary general of the YTS. “We are within our legal rights to escalate the means of protests and demonstrations, and to strike from work if required,” he added.

He also mentioned a list of abuses that the teachers were exposed to due to their participation in the sit-in, and asked teachers to report any arbitrary action, stating that the SYT would support and stand-by those who were subject to unfair treatment.

The rally was conducted in a very peaceful, democratic way in which opinions were expressed freely. The protestors also thanked security men for their cooperation, stating, “Soldiers, Army, we have something in common – the love of living.”

Health Ministry Officials Involved in Medicine Smuggling

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:44 am on Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kickbacks to Ministry officials. Parliament and military members involved in gun sales and smuggling, officials involved in child smuggling, etc.

News Yemen

SANA’A, NewsYemen

A newly released official report has revealed that owners of so many medicine stores across the country, who have high posts in the ministry of public health and population, practice medicines smuggling.

The report, released by the High Authority of Medicine, said those officials also help and protect medicines smugglers for some commissions in return.

The Yemeni Pharmacists Syndicate said that some 60% of medicines in Yemeni market are smuggled.

The High Authority of Medicine has announced in its report, NewsYemen got a copy of, it is preparing a new strategy to improve its performance to control imported and local medicines, in addition to developing human resources and technical measures.

It said that the strategy would deal with new mechanisms to prevent smuggling fake medicines into the country.

An official report, previously released by the Central Organization for Controlling and Auditing, has disclosed that Yemen loses five billion annually due to smuggled medicines. It said Yemen annually imports medicines from 50 Arab and foreign countries of as much as $ 117 million.

The report said the Yemeni private and mixed sectors import 86 percent of medicines of $101 million and that the local production is only 4.72 percent of almost $ 5 million.

Akosh Resigns from Shoura Council

Filed under: GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:21 pm on Friday, November 23, 2007

Al-Sahwa
November 22, 2007 – General People’s congress’s senior leader, Mohammad Akosh resigned last week from the ruling party, saying that GPC has not made any achievements. He further explained in an interview with Alsahwa weekly newspaper that GPC is not an orderly party and that it is just the president’s party.

“I found myself wasting time in GPC, and only what the president desires is achieved.” added he.

Moreover, Akosh demanded to comprehensively reform the political regime, considering current popular moves in several Yemeni provinces as a natural result of tensions in all Yemen, not only in the southern governorates.

“Citizens are suffering from soaring prices, unemployment and the widespread corruption.”said he .

He also warned of ominous future if wise people in Yemen could not address problems and resort to dialogue.

almotamar.net – An official source at the General People’s Congress (GPC)’s General Secretariat commented that resignation Mohammed Salem Akoush by saying, ” The GPC refuses among its ranks hypocrites who by their membership of the GPC want to practice corruption and political extortion enveloped with regionalism or tribalism or self-interest.

The source said the GPC would not be cover for them, considering the resignation of Akoush does not mean anything and the GPC is conducting the process of purging of those infiltrators and hypocrites who violate the GPC’s rules of procedure and its political programmes.

Al-Shawa:

November 17, 2007- The member of the permanent committee of the ruling General People Congress party and Shoura Council, Mohammad Akosh, affirmed Saturday its resignation from the permanent committee.

He said that GPC has not made any achievements and people waited much, but it has not done anything.

Bird Flu Hits Yemen

Filed under: Agriculture, Economic, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:18 pm on Friday, November 23, 2007

This is could be bad:

Trade Arabia

Yemeni authorities are testing farm birds for the deadly strain of the bird flu virus H5N1 after several people reported deaths of poultry at their farms, an agriculture ministry official said.

‘It will be some time before we find out, meanwhile we have banned imports from all countries with confirmed cases,’ the official said.

He said the dead birds were found in several parts of the country, without being more specific.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have culled 220,000 birds since last week after an outbreak at a poultry farm in the town of Al Kharj in the central region of the kingdom, far from its Yemen border.

UPdate: No, all is well

Doctor Galeb Aleryani, the General Livestock Manager at the Ministry of Agriculture commented that this is only a precautionary measure which will not affect the general commercial relationship between the two countries. He added, “We have received reports from different governorates of cases of bird flu.

We ordered five medical investigation teams to investigate the causes in the five governorates where they were reported, Taiz, Ebb, Lahje, Dhamar, and Omran. Initial tests show that these birds died of a very well known illness (Newcastle disease), that affects 150 birds a year. He also added that some birds might have died from environmental factors, like the cold.

Aleryani further explained that veterinary investigation teams had performed an autopsy on these birds, and confirmed that they died of natural causes, which do not constitute any threat to the public. The vets took samples in order to examine them in Sana’a, and they will announce the final results in the middle of next week.

24 of 94 Officials Submitted Property Statements

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:14 pm on Friday, November 23, 2007

almotamar.net – The number of Yemeni cabinet, misters who have so far delivered statements on their property to the Supreme National Anti-Corruption Authority (SNACA) has amounted to 24 ministers out of 94 government officials included by the law. Among the government officials are undersecretaries and directors general at different government institutions. Submissions of those statements began since the beginning of last October in implementation of the law requesting senior government officials to provide statements on their property which was adopted by the Yemeni parliament the mid of July 2006.

The head of the property statements at the SNACA Mohammed Hamoud al-Matari has made it clear to almotamar.net that the Minister of Electricity & Energy Dr Mustafa Bahran has presented to the SNACA his property statement on Tuesday and before him on the same day was the Minister of State for the cabinet and parliament affairs Dr Adnan al-Jifri.

This legal measure that includes the Yemeni ministers for the first time comes in implementation of the law on statement of property and articles of the president of the republic’s electoral platform with regard to fighting corruption and part of the reforms aimed to improve the administrative performance and combating corruption in Yemen.

The law obliges those included to present statements on their property before their assuming of their posts so that the SNACA would be able to hold them accountable after that for any sums of money or property they have acquired during their posts in illegal ways.

Parliament Threatens No Confidence Vote

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, Economic, Ministries, Parliament, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:53 pm on Monday, November 19, 2007

ah, the Interior Minister

YO:
Parliament has summoned the government for questioning, demanding them to carry out its recommendations or resign if it didn’t implement its recommendations concerning the 2005 budget.

During the Nov 7 session, many MPs suggested giving the government one month or two months to rectify financial irregularities put the perpetrators on trial, or face a vote of no confidence.

“We spent around YR40 million preparing this report on the 2005 budget. If the government will not carry these recommendations, that is giving carte blanche to corruption,” said Abdul-Aziz Gobari, MP.

“The government must implement our recommendations during the next two months or a new government must be formed, as would happen in other countries,” Gobari said.

“Every minister must form a committee in his ministry in light of the report of parliament to check for financial violations in economic units and funds under the ministry.

Then those ministries must bring violators to trial within two months,” said Mohammed al-Qadhi, MP

“The special funds have proved a complete failure. The Drugs Fund has left 75 percent of its budget unspent while all hospitals are suffering from a shortage of medicine,” Abdullah Ba-Mo’ili, MP said.

Ba-Mo’ili said that the Roads and Bridges Fund was the worst. In one year, there have been more than 60.000 accident in highways which resulted in 75.000 injured citizens. He added that in his opinion, the funds must have been embezzled.

Parliament has discovered the embezzlement of over YR4 billion in current expenditures in the government’s budget. This was stated in a report issued by the Special Parliamentary Committee and the Central Organization for Control and Auditing, who were charged with reviewing the accounts. Violations were found in particular in the independent and supplementary budgets for special funds in 2005.

The report confirmed that those bodies did not implement the repeated recommendations of Parliament to reduce expenditure. This corruption shows how the government estimated its budget figures incorrectly when it prepared both independent and supplementary budgets.

In terms of cash expenditures, the report showed that local authorities are not able to exploit budgets, but that leaders of local authorities are keen to abuse current expenditures. The committee also noted that these authorities have not been able to increase their revenues. This reflects a lack of coordination in revenue collection.

In terms of special funds, the report revealed that the aggregate of abused resources in 23 funds exceeded YR22 billion, which constitutes some 23 percent of the total budget (YR71 billion).

Corruption occurred in the Fund for Maintenance of Roads and Bridges, the Social Fund for Development, the Military Fund, and the Retirement Fund, all of which are under the control of the Interior Ministry. Also included in this list were the funds for Caring and Rehabilitation of Handicapped People and the fund for Encouraging Agricultural and Fish Production.

The report noted that some local authoritiesí incomes had increased due to their investments in treasury bills and bank deposits. The report revealed that this increase of capital income is not a result of better performance by those authorities, but of rising interest on treasury bills, as well as an increase in currency interest rates during 2005.

Local authorities spend money freely because of their financial independence. There are no regulations governing the allocation of funds in expenses, wages or bonuses. The report suggested that a policy to rationalize expenditure should be enacted to prevent further embezzlement of public funds.

Cancer in Yemen: 2 Million Dollar Radiation Device Unused

Filed under: Agriculture, Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:57 am on Thursday, November 15, 2007

SANA’A, Nov. 14 — A project to set up a radiation treatment device for cancer was hindered after its contract ended. The project was supposed to be completed last September.

The delay has deprived thousands of cancer patients from utilizing the system, one of the most sophisticated medical devices for cancer treatment. Statistics indicate that one third of Yemen’s population is threatened by cancer.

In a decision made in 2006, the government approved to purchase the accelerator device used in the cancer treatment center at Al-Jumhury Hospital in Sana’a. This device is valued at $ 2,660.435. It is the first device of its kind to enter Yemen.

The project was hindered from the beginning, according to exdirector of Al-Jumhury Hospital Nabeel Dhuba’n. In an interview with the 26 September newspaper, Dhuba’n stated that there was a problem between the Supreme Committee of Tenders, the Ministry of Health and the National Committee for Atomic Energy. The project was also hindered after the government approved paying a private firm to implement the project.

Due to the obstruction, cancer remains an obsession worrying Yemenis’ lives.

Related: 70% of cancer caused by pesticides, study

SANA’A, Nov. 13 — Prime Minister Ali Mujawar has formed a committee to study grievances submitted by several agricultural pesticide importers against Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture.

The committee, which consists of the Ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation, Industry and Commerce, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, will investigate the legality of actions by the Agriculture Ministry, as well as identify those pesticides banned under a law preventing the entry of such compounds from unspecified sources.
(Read on …)

Civil Service Reforms Continue

Filed under: Employment, Military, Ministries, Reform, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:57 am on Thursday, November 15, 2007

This al-Sofi deserves a medal.

Yemen Observer

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Rashad al-Alimi has asked employees of the Interior Ministry who have a second job for the Interior Ministry or the Ministry of Civil Service and Insurance to choose between their two jobs.

“This is step comes within the framework of the implementation of the second national strategy for salaries and wages, using fingerprinting as a means to financial and administrative reform,” said al-Alimi, who was accompanied during the inauguration by the Minister of Defense Mohammed Ahmed Nasser.

Al-Alimi said that the aim of implementing the fingerprinting system at the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense is to end moonlighting, which will help to improve the financial wellbeing of the fulltime employees, not those who hold jobs in two ministries. “We, the Ministry of Interior, are going to pay more attention to financial and administrative reforms in the country at large and military foundations in particular.”

Al-Alimi called on all employees of the Ministry of Interior and Defense to obey the law relating to financial and administrative reform, and leave one of their jobs voluntarily, either in the Ministry of the Interior, or in the Ministry of Civil Service.

Al-Alimi said that the Ministry of Interior does not employ anyone to spy on its own employees, and said “we are a democratic state. So we should not be afraid, as long as we respect the law. No one is above the law.”

Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, the Minister of Defense, said that this step is a good start to prevent career duplication in the armed forces. “Any person who has a dual career should quickly go to the Ministry of Interior or Civil Service to resign one of his two jobs.”

Nasser pointed out that this step would demonstrate the rights of people working in the armed forces. He said the system of fingerprinting will not pose any risk to the Ministry of Defense as the data required is normal data that would normally be taken from everyone associated with the military, as any other employers would.

The Minister of Civil Service and Insurance, Hamoud al-Sofi, said that this step is the most important indicator yet of President Saleh’s determination to fulfill his electoral promises of administrative reform. He said that his ministry delayed implementing this system in the ministries of Defense and Interior not because these two ministries resisted or because of a lack of cooperation between these ministries, but because of the need to take preliminary steps prior to this.

Malaysian Embassy

Filed under: Education, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:35 pm on Thursday, November 8, 2007

Embassy corruption is rampant. Al-Motamar:

almotamar.net – The cultural attaché office at the Yemeni embassy in Malaysia on Saturday warned Malaysian universities and institutes from dealing with any illegal side claiming its representation of Yemeni students in Malaysia without having authorisation from the cultural attaché office.

The warning came after 15 Yemeni students affiliated to Islamic Islah party has on Friday gathered in front of the building of the Yemeni embassy in Malaysia alleging their representation of all Yemeni students there.

In a statement to almotamar.net the cultural attaché at the embassy Sultan al-Shuaibi denied the existence of any open sit-ins at the building of the embassy. Investigations revealed that some students at the Multimedia University requested the university to not addressing the embassy regarding university fees and to leave the matter for them because the embassy, as they claimed, would not respond but to the way of pressure, although the embassy has already transferred the duties of students to the university.

Also students in Egypt:

Thursday, 15-November-2007
almotamar.net – Well-informed sources on Thursday mentioned that presidential directives given to the government for speeding up treatment of situations of the Yemeni students in Egypt in response to a complaint president Ali Abdullah Saleh listened to during his latest visit too Egypt.

The sources added that the president asked he Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar to solve situations of the Yemeni students studying in Egypt in the way enabling them to devote their efforts to scientific matters in various studying areas, according to a report by 26 September newspaper on Thursday.

The two students, Murad al-Maweri, chairman of the GPC branch in Egypt and Mohammed al-Suswa had presented to the president of the republic during his latest visit to Egypt a complaint that included detailed explanation of Yemeni students sufferings that affect their pursuit of their studies and that received response from the president and issued his directives to the government to solve the students problems.

COCA: 23% of Budget Lost to Corruption

Filed under: Corruption, Employment, Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yemen Observer

Parliament has revealed the embezzlement of over YR4 billion in current expenditures in the government’s budget. This was stated in a report issued by the Special Parliamentary Committee and the Central Organization for Control and Auditing, who were charged with reviewing the accounts. The violations were specifically found in the independent and supplemental budgets of special funds in 2005.

The report confirmed that those bodies did not institute the repeated recommendations of Parliament to reduce expenditure. This corruption demonstrates how the government incorrectly estimated its budget figures when it prepared both independent and supplementary budgets.

In terms of cash expenditures, the report indicated that the authorities are not able to exploit budgets, but that leaders of the authorities are keen to abuse current expenditures. The Committee also noted that these authorities have not been able to increase their revenues. This reflects a lack of coherence in revenue collection.

In terms of special funds, the report revealed that the aggregate of abused resources in 23 funds exceeded YR22 billion. This constitutes some 23 percent of the total budget funds (YR71 billion). (Read on …)

New Ambassadors

Filed under: Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:43 pm on Friday, October 26, 2007

Who are these people? Anybody got a bio? My email is jane.novak@gmail.com

ADEN(26sep.net)-President Saleh names today a new ambassadors, they take oath as Mohammed al-Iryani our ambassador to Germany, Abdullah al-Muntasir to Malaysia, Abdul-Malik al-Mu’alimi to China, Abdullah al-Daf’I to UAE , Mohammed al-Hilali to Russia and Marwan Noaman to Japan.

Meanwhile, president Saleh held a meeting attended by al Bashiri general-secretary of republic presidency and Dr. al Qirbi minister of Foreign, President addressed them to serve Yemen duly, and to enhance ties of Yemen in countries they will head for.

almotamar.net – Presidential decrees issued Saturday appointing new ambassadors for Yemen to Germany, Malaysia and Japan.

One of the presidential decrees appointed Dr Mohammed Lutuf al-Eryany ambassador to Federal Germany. The other decree appointed Abdullah Mohammed al- Muntassir as Yemen’s ambassador to Malaysia. And the third decree stipulated the appointment of Marwan Abdullah Abdulwahab Nouman ambassador of Yemen to Japan.

Corruption Prosecutions

Filed under: Corruption, Judicial, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:39 am on Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thats new.

Al-Motamar

almotamar.net – The Yemeni ministry of transport on Sunday turned over a number of officials to the general prosecution after it was proved they were involved in financial and administrative violations, an action comes under the efforts the government is exerting for fighting corruption.

Reliable sources at the ministry of transport said the leadership of the ministry sent a director general and number of administrative units at the ministry to the general prosecution for their involvement in financial and administrative violations.

Althawra.net website quoted sources at the ministry as saying the officials were turned over to the prosecution after preliminary investigations proved their committing of those violations. The sources pointed out that the measures are part of the treatments and reformation of some failures in the ministry and combating corruption as well as protection of public property.

Official sources had mentioned last week that a number files of influential personalities, politicians, military and security officials and some of those considered to be part of the authority would be referred to the Supreme National Anti-Corruption Authority in prelude to send them to the general prosecution, among them a former defence minister in addition to persons in the government and parliament.

These measures are part of implementation of president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s programme and the programme of the General People’s Congress government that stipulated fighting financial and administrative corruption and part of the package of reforms Yemen is implementing with the help of the World Bank.

Al-Iryani, Former Prime Mininster and Presidential Advisor, A Thief?

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:23 am on Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Six mil, peanuts.

It shows the power of the press in holding government to account. However, there is no independent law enforcement agency to investigate the charges, and there is no independent court to try the case.

From the Empty Quarter:

The Marib Press is running a piece by their favorite correspondent-at-large Munir al Mawri claiming that the former Prime Minister, Advisor to the President and GPC bigshot Abdul Karim al Iryani has been doing naughty stuff with the peoples’ money.

Al Mawri is also the reporter that brought attention to the Nuclear deal with Powered Corp and its executive Jalal Alghani. This guy has obviously made a name for himself as a corruption buster, as someone with access on the inside of the party has emailed him the documents for this one.

In the article, al Mawri says he has documentation, going back three years, which shows the that the good Dr. has been embezzling funds and writing a number of hot checks without the available funds…to the tune of 1.25 billion rials (about US $6.3 million). He claims that al Iryani has embezzled large amounts of money from loans taken out for government and party projects – specifically, sums sent to a “Future Press -Beirut.” It is also claimed the al Irayani was involved in embezzlement during the latest campaign of President Saleh.

Update: Al-Mithaq sues for liable: Director General of Al-Mithaq Adel Mohammed Qaed said the slander campaign against the Al-Mithaq Establishment is an attempt paid for aimed at hindering its work with the aim of deformation and offence.

Education Ministry Restricts Students Rights

Filed under: Education, Military, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:46 am on Monday, October 15, 2007

Punishing students administratively, restricting their rights of association and beefing up security presence

Al-Sahwa: Higher Education Ministry announces draft to militarize universities and suppress student activities

October 3, 2007- The Higher Education Ministry is planning to issue a law which includes arbitrary and suppressive measures ,according to the Student Association in Sana’a University .

The draft is targeting student activates through dismissing or depriving students from one semester or more , including, in the meantime , legal irregularities contradicted with the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The draft also contained a clause incompatible with democratic pluralism and authorizing security forces to intervene in all student activities and banning them except with the permission of the university administration.

Civil Service Minister Institutes Field Visits

Filed under: Employment, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:42 am on Monday, October 15, 2007

Good! This guy is doing good stuff. Almost all the measures that are attracting positive international feed-back are coming from the civil service ministry.

Yemen Times
SANA’A, Oct. 8 —A new government policy is underway to stamp out laziness and absenteeism at ministries and public service units. The Civil Service Minister, Hamoud Khalid As-Sufi, confirmed to The Yemen Times that they have launched an initiative “to correct negative things hindering job performances of the state’s administrative system”. (Read on …)

Embassy Corruption

Filed under: Corruption, Education, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:41 am on Monday, October 15, 2007

Embassy employee steals students stipends:

News Yemen

Kuala Lumpur, NewsYemen

Some 300 Yemeni students at the Malaysian Multimedia University have decided to make a sit-in next week outside the Yemeni Embassy in Malaysia protesting to the cultural attaché’s delay to pay the tuition fees since years.

According to its internal system, the university has barred Yemeni students and prevented them to check their results until they pay charges. They said the decision of the university came suddenly while they were doing the exam of the first semester of 2007. (Read on …)

Civil Service Budget

Filed under: Employment, Ministries, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:04 pm on Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yemen Observer

The Yemeni government faces a looming financial crisis due to the combined pressures of wage increases for public employees and of declining oil revenues, said Minister of Finance Numan al-Suhaibi during a consultative meeting of customs leaders last week.

Al-Suhaibi said that the government is facing many financial obligations at the present time; particularly the 20 percent average pay increase for public employees outlined in the phase two of the government salaries strategy, which was not calculated in the 2007 budget. The country’s budget also depends on oil revenue, which has been decreasing regularly. (Read on …)

Patent Regulations to be Implemented

Filed under: Business, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Monday, September 24, 2007

Thats good.

Maybe al-Zindani can patent his AIDS cure and share it with the world now.

23/9/2007 11:17 GMT
ag-IP-news
Implementing Regulations for Patents Issued in Yemen

SANA’A – Yemen’s Minister of Trade and Industry Yahya Al-Mutawakel issued Ministerial Decision No. 256 of 2007 in respect of issuing the regulations implementing the patent provisions of the Yemeni Intellectual Property Law No. 19 of 1994.

According to a Sunday press release by Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP), the regulations were published in the Altegara Gazette/August 2007 edition, but they have not yet entered into force.

In view of the above, the Patent Office in Yemen is still only accepting filing of patent applications; no further actions such as examination, publication, granting, or payment of annuities are applicable yet.

Since the issuance of the Law No. 19 of 1994, the Patent Office in Yemen has only been accepting filing of patent applications which were held in abeyance pending the issuance of the Implementing Regulations.

The salient features of the Implementing Regulations are as follows: patent applications are examined as to form, novelty, and industrial applicability; a patent shall be protected for 15 years from the date of filing the patent application; and an opposition to the patent application may be filed within 6 months from the publication date.

Any further developments in this respect will be reported to you in due course.

Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property provides an extensive range of intellectual property services from over 60 offices and through over 180 correspondents worldwide.

Low Income Housing

Filed under: Demographics, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:27 am on Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Public Works Ministry had a re-shuffle in July and implemented some measures to thwart contractor corruption. Which of course is excellent and shows how some of the Cabinet Ministers are really trying to make a positive change. However their efforts are often diminished by the lack of cooperation from other ministries and of couse, ye old influential persons.

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Minister of Public Works Omar al-Korshomi has stated his ministry is preparing to set up 2500 housing units and 298 blocks with a cost estimated over USD 16 billion.

He said the project, to be implemented in five years, targets the needy and limited-income people and solving the housing problem in the country.

The Al-Ekariya magazine said that the ministry is planning to construct 298 buildings in the capital Sana’a, Hadramout, Aden, Hodeidah and Taiz with a total cost as much as $12 billion for 4768 limited income families. Every building will be consisted of four floors containing four apartments in each, said the magazine.

The magazine said the families could own the apartments and pay back for the apartments during 15 to 20 years.

According to al-Korshomi, the 2500 housing units, of more than $3 billion, will be distributed for needy families in Haradh and Abs cities of Hajjah governorate, Bajil city in Hodeidah, in addition to Aden, Sana’a, Taiz and Hadramout.

The General Corporation for Social Insurances said it has prepared plans and proposals to invest the insurances surplus in establishing housing units in Aden, Sana’a, Taiz, Hodeidah and Hadramout after directions of president Saleh and a decision by the cabinet in this regard.

Land Thieves to face Punative Action

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Unrest, Ministries, South Yemen, Yemen, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 7:59 am on Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahmed going to jail? Wow! Now that would certainly send a good signal to the protesters in the South that justice exists in Yemen and their rights are protected by the state no matter who the criminal is.

26 Septemper News

The cabinet gave orders on Tuesday to refer people who are responsible for occupying state and people lands to prosecution to take legal punitive actions against them.

The decision came after listening to a report presented by Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, head of the committee to tackle issues of lands in the governorates.

The cabinet ordered to hand over all lands to beneficiaries who could not get their granted lands in the previous period because of domination of influential people over these lands.

It asked the General Authority of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning to prepare a plan to tackle issues of the agricultural lands which have been granted to the agricultural societies and people to be approved by the cabinet soon.

cabinet also directed local councils in Lahj and Abyan governorates to terminate acts of occupying state lands within one month.

Land registration is an excellent concept, however they should establish numerous specialized non-corrupt courts to hash out all the competing claims of ownership that are going to arise. Unless all the land will be registered to “influential persons”. I think the following article is from al-Motamar

The Cabinet approved a draft land registry law last Tuesday, referring it to the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the General Authority for Lands and Construction Planning for finalization, before being submitted to Parliament for approval.

The bill will regulate property rights and provide for the registration of land ownership. The aim of the bill is to shore up existing title deeds, provide legal clarity in the event of property disputes, and encourage investment by enhancing economic and social stability. (Read on …)

Ambassadors

Filed under: Corruption, GPC, Ministries, Presidency, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:50 pm on Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Faisel Abu Rais is the GPC Member of Parliament who resigned in 2006, I think it was, protesting corruption. Now he’s the Ambassador to Lebanon:

almotamar.net – Ali Hamid Sharaf and Mansour Ahmed Saif have on Wednesday taken constitutional oath before President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the occasion of their appointment members of the Shoura Council.

Taking constitutional oath also before the president on Wednesday on their appointment as ambassadors were Faisal Amin Abu Ras, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Yemen to Lebanon, Dr Ali Mansour Bin Saffaa, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Bahrain, Dr Khalid Rajih Sheikh, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Kuwait, and Abdulrahman Khamis Ubaid, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the sultanate of Oman. (Read on …)

Minister of Education Punishes Students

Filed under: Employment, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:49 pm on Wednesday, September 5, 2007

News Yemen

SANA’A, NewsYemen

An American delegation from the US Center for Civic Education in California is expected to arrive in Yemen Thursday for talks with officials in the Ministry of Education and lead academicians in Sana’a and Taiz on reasons of blocking a project of civic education in some schools of Taiz.

An informed source in the Yemeni Women Forum for Studies and Training said that the program of civic education in some schools of Taiz was suspended by Minister of Education Abdul-Salam al-Jawfi who was angry with the first festival of civic education in Taiz last May 21 after some female students shouted against price hikes.

The minister warned to suspend the program of civil education after what he said “wrong mobilization of students” which contains “the project of citizenship and the project of democracy fundamentals” after students criticized the price hikes in the country, said the source.

After the festival the ministry has cancelled the students’ participation in citizenship projects in the United States, the TOT programs, training courses for male and female teachers, closed the Civic Education Department in the Education Office in Taiz and suspended also any social activity of students they used to practice under the civic education programs.

The US Center for Civic Education is specialized in civic and citizenship education, law-related education, and international educational exchange programs for developing democracies.

Squid down 60%

Filed under: Fisheries, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:44 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yemen Times

Squid catches have declined by 60 percent

Al-Mahra, Sept. 1 — Squid catches have dropped by 60% in Al-Mahra in the current fishing season alone. According to sources, this may be due to the random shoveling works performed by industrial fishing ships in areas specified for traditional fishing. Nashtoon Association for Squid Production has marked that it stands at 340 tons for the period from July,13 to Augus,27- an incredible decline from the intake during last years period. Subsequently, the government has taken action to prevent the exposure of these valuable fishing areas to shoveling with the passing of the 2006 Law No.2.

National Security Beats Journalist

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Security Forces, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:42 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I thought that was the PSO’s job.

almotamar.net – Yemen Journalists Syndicate (YJS) on Monday demanded the interior ministry of arrest attackers on journalist Abdullah Ali Makarim who works for Seyoun broadcasting station who was attacked Thursday evening nearby Textile Factory in Sana’a.

The YJS letter to the deputy premier the minister of interior Dr Rashad al-Alimi, a copy of it received by almotamar.net mentioned the attackers showed their journalist their military identity cards and presented themselves as officers from the national security and took him with a friend of his to Saawan area where they beat him severely and stole his money and, personal documents and a camera.
The YJS mentioned that the journalist reported the incident to Shoub police station at the same day evening but the police did not care about his complaint and then he reported the incident to another police station in the area where he was attacked and they did the same claiming the attack was not in an area under their authority although the station is only three hundred meters far from the sits of attack.

The journalists syndicate asked the minister to issue his instructions quickly for taking measures and seize the attackers.

MP’s Beaten by Central Security

Filed under: GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Security Forces, Targeting, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:41 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Al-Sahwa

September 4, 2007- The members of parliament, Ensaf Mayo and Mohammad al-Qubati, have claimed the Speaker of Parliament, Sheikh Abdulah al-Ahmer to immediately investigate military orders of violating them.

They accused the Central Security Commander, Colonel Hamoud al-Harthi, of ordering officials and soldiers of CS to assault them without any consideration to their parliamentary immunity.

They explained in a letter sent to the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday that the so-called al-Harthi incited CS soldiers against them, accusing them of secessionism.

Civil Service Mininsty Reforms

Filed under: Ministries, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:23 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thats good. The Civil Service Minister is the same guy who identified 60,000 ghost workers and double dippers, who withheld the doctors raises’ until the Health Ministry presented accurate employment rolls, introduced biometric employee identity cards and some other good stuff. I think this is internal reforms within the ministry which certainly sets a good example.

Saba

Govt approves set of administrative institutional reforms

[28 August 2007]

SANA’A, (Saba)- The cabinet weekly session, chaired by Premier Ali Mujawar, approved Tuesday a set of administrative and institutional reforms which were presented by Ministry of Civil Service and Insurance according to orders of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The reforms aim to improve the governmental administration to better competence and efficiency of its systems by defining their roles and tasks to halt specializations overlapping and repetition, the thing which would ease dealings with the governmental systems and ensure high quality services.

Therefore, the cabinet approved restructuring Ministry of Civil Service and Insurance in the light of an approved project presented by the Project of Updating Civil Service.

It called for finalizing procedures of issuing the organizing bylaw of the civil service ministry which would reinforce the ministry’s performance in coordination with the different governmental systems.

Moreover, the cabinet also directed to form a supreme committee and a higher technical committee to study results of the special study over reviewing role and performance of the government and to suggest required visions to be executed.

Oil Production Down 42%

Filed under: Corruption, Economic, Ministries, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:58 am on Sunday, August 26, 2007

Does this mean there is 42% less payola?

Reuters

The Yemeni government’s share of oil output declined by 42 % in the first half of this year, posing a challenge to the country’s economic growth, a senior official said on Saturday.

The government’s share of total oil production fell to 20 million barrels in the six months to June 30 from 34.5 million barrels in the year-earlier period, Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Megawar said.

The value of oil production fell to $1.2 billion in the period from $2.2 billion last year, Megawar told a meeting of the ruling People’s Congress Party.

The decline in oil production in Yemen “is a real challenge to the national economy although there are positive indicators promising new discoveries of oil and gas”, Megawar said.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said at the same meeting that Yemen’s oil production stood at 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Oil Minister Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah said in May that Yemen wanted to boost its oil output to 500,000 bpd, without giving a timeframe.

The country planned to offer 10 offshore oil and gas exploration blocks in a bidding round for international firms in the third quarter, Bahah had said.

Stalinism in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Communications, Judicial, Media, Ministries, Oil, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Sunday, August 26, 2007

As they are holding a democracy conference, there’s a bill sent to Parliament that kills free speech. Maybe they’ll take 15 years to pass it like the gun bill.

In the absence of political will to reform, public pressure can sometimes be an effective catalyst, but not if the public is muzzled.

The regime smells a revolution coming and keeps doing all the things that are going to provoke it.

Yemeni Government Introduces Bill To Jail Critics Of President

SAN’A, Yemen (AP)–Critics of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh could receive up to 15 years in prison under a proposed law introduced by the government and sent to parliament on Sunday.

Under the draft law, ‘agitators’ could also face a death penalty if their anti-government incitement causes deaths during protests.

Yemeni newspapers said the draft law also imposes severe prison sentences on journalists, writers and rights advocates who ‘incite’ anti-government activities including protests. These acts, according to the draft law, undermine national security and are harmful to social peace.

Critics immediately blasted the law as a violation of freedom of expression.

“The government is retreating from its promises to expand the freedoms and halt restrictive measures,” said Sami Ghalib, head of the Freedoms Committee at the Yemeni Press Syndicate.

Thousands of Yemenis have taken to the streets in several cities around the country this month to protest government corruption and rising prices.

The demonstrations, organized by a coalition of five opposition parties, drew a sharp rebuke from authorities, who said the gatherings didn’t serve development and stability.

Saleh has said the planned protests intended to “prepare the streets for disorder, tension and create bottlenecks which do not serve the economy, stability and security.”

Yemen, a poor tribal country at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula has been struggling with poverty. The central bank reported revenue of $1.5 billion in oil sales in the first four months of 2007 but most is believed to have been spent on armaments and security.

Unemployment in Yemen is at 36.8%, according to government statistics.

Politicalized Passports

Filed under: Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:17 am on Saturday, August 25, 2007

Micromanaging at its finest, Saleh refuses passport request.

al-Sahwa

Due to political reasons, Yemeni authorities rejects issuing passports

August 21, 2007-Yemeni businessman resident in Dubai has accused the Yemeni authorities of not reissuing him a passport due to political reasons .

Naji al-Jaifi said that he asked the Yemeni ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, Abdul-Wahid Farai, to renew his passport and he, in turn, referred him to the Yemeni consulate in Dubai.

However , he was told in the consulate that there are presidential orders of stopping all his procedures.

Al-Jaifi appealed all human rights organizations to interfere and do best in order to prevent containing his own freedom .

Guns Banned from Capital City

Filed under: Ministries, Parliament, Proliferation, Tribes, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:10 am on Saturday, August 25, 2007

Almotamar.net – The Yemen interior ministry on Thursday announced it will from today morning prevent carrying firearms inside the capital, indicating it will set stores at entrances of the capital and provincial capitals of governorates for keeping guns and give their owners receipts for them.

The ministry added it will beginning of next month carry out a decision preventing carrying licensed firearms, confirming that security authorities would arrest anyone carrying weapons in violation of the announcement and confiscate his gun.

An announcement issued by the interior ministry, a copy of it received by almotamar.net, mentioned that it is categorically prevented carrying weapons inside the capital and provincial capitals of governorates. The statement attributed that decision to increase of crimes and incidents resulting from the use of guns and to the negative impact which carrying firearms cause to development and investment as well as to tourism. It added that the aim is to protect the citizens life and achieve general security and safety for the citizen, social peace.

The statement mentioned that bodyguards of senior officials of the state and members of parliament and Shoura and local council will be allowed to carry only guns in an invisible way.

The interior ministry asked all political, security, military and administrative leaderships to commit to carrying out the decision, calling upon political parties and organisations and citizens to cooperate in implementation of the decision and report on any violations.

Human Rights Ministries Follows Up 400 Complaints

Filed under: Civil Rights, Ministries, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:18 pm on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thats good. The issue of judicial remedy for governmental human rights violations remains problematic though.

Almotamar.net – An official source in the Human Rights Ministry said Sunday the ministry received about 400 legal complaints from citizens since the beginning of the year until the present month.

The source told almotamar.net the complaints were from citizens and jurists in addition to legal complaints the ministry received from civil establishments.

According to the source the subjects of complaints varied between citizens suffering from arbitrary measures by influential persons, either through depriving them their rights or attacking them in addition to Yemeni workers working for trading companies exposed to arbitrary sacking without justifications given. According the source among the subjects of complaints is that some journalists and legal activist were subject to violations and harassments by security men.

The source said the ministry has exerted steady efforts for solving those issues and managed to settle 200 issues though communication and contacts with concerned parties and succeeded in giving them back their rights or sent to prosecution along with the ministry follow-up of the results.

Yemen Moving Forward on EITI

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, Ministries, Oil, Reform, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:14 pm on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

thats excellent, really good news

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The Ministry of Oil and Minerals along with the World Bank held on Sunday a meeting on “an initiative to set up a Yemeni transparency council” in light of Yemen’s joining to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Yemen was the first Arab country to join the EITI, said the minister of oil and minerals Khalid Bahah. It is number almost 23 in the EITI members list, he said.

Baha praised the role of the EITI as an international tool to enhance transparency and eliminating the global corruption and increasing accountability.

“The EITI was set up to increase the level of transparency in all oil-rich countries so that people can know exactly oil, gas and mining revues,” said Bahah.

“This enable those countries to improve the management of such revenues to have strong sustainable economics and fight poverty”, Bahah added.

The minister said that the new Law of Tenders and Auctions, the National Anti-Corruption Authority and having free media and interactive civil society organizations and the Central Organization for Controlling and Auditing (COCA) are all means to establish a good governance.

The World Bank’s representative Anowar al-Warak has talked about the WB’s support to the Yemeni transparency council project, pointing that EITI enable societies to get accurate information about the revenues of oil, gas and other resources as well as the way the governments expend them.

Al-Warak said after joining EITI, Yemeni people could know more about the revenues of oil, gas and mining and the way they are being run. The initiative supports accountability and transparency of the government revenues, he said.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining. The Initiative works to build multi-stakeholder partnerships in developing countries in order to increase the accountability of governments.

Good governance is a precondition for converting large revenues from extractive industries into economic growth and poverty reduction. When transparency and accountability are weak, the extractive industries may instead contribute to poverty, corruption, and conflict- the so-called “resource curse.” The EITI is an important step in defeating this “curse.”
The primary beneficiaries of EITI are the governments and citizens of resource-rich countries. Knowing what companies pay and what governments receive is a critical first step to holding decisionmakers accountable for the use of revenues. Resource-rich countries implementing EITI can benefit from an improved investment climate by providing a clear signal to investors and to international financial institutions that the government is committed to strengthening transparency and accountability.

For more information about EITI, please visit: www.eitransparency.org

The Wheat Crisis

Filed under: Agriculture, Biographies, Business, Economic, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:53 am on Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some one should go check those warehouses again, you know the ones where the five traders were stockpiling all the wheat in November. The Interior Ministry failed to cooperate with the Trade and Industry Minister , and the traders were released after signing a pledge to release the wheat into the market. Back in April, the cost was 3250 YR, and that was high, now its 5000 YR.

Sana’a, Aug, 15 — The Yemeni Economic Corporation catered for providing flour and wheat in all the Republic governorates. The General Manager of the corporation, brigadier Ali AL-Kuhlani said that the corporation along with its branches will provide the consumers with their needs of flour and wheat via direct selling centers distributed in all the governorates of the Republic.

Al-Kuhlani also said that strict measures will be taken against any employee who manipulates and goes against the rules. Further, he will be referred to Prosecution.

Likewise, Mahfoudh Shamakh, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, pinpointed that the decision of the government is courageous and is in need of reviewing. Further, he indicated that the decision came amid accusations of tradesmen, importers, retailers, and government over the wheat issue. The burning question is who is responsible for what is going on within such accusations? We find that the opinions contradict each other. Mahfoudh went on to say that importers do not increase the prices.

He also declared that the importers sell one bag of wheat at YR 2500.However; some people purchase it and sell it at 3000 at the same moment. He mentioned what the President had said regarding some food suppliers’ increase of the foodstuff prices while they are piled up in their stores.

Shamakh maintained that the mistake lies in the trading style, which is the policy of starvation, especially, when the stored wheat bags are sold with new prices.

He also affirmed that the government has faults because it did not establish mills to store for wholesale and retail tradesmen. So, they can get reasonable gains, emphasizing the importance of selling at retail in all areas.

These statements came after what Al-Habari, the famous businessman, said in press releases in which he accused some tradesmen of being accountable for these price hikes as well as monopolizing wheat import. Al-Habari also went on to say that the price hikes taking place in the Yemeni markets have no relations with the international price hikes.

In his statement, according to September net, Al-Habari stated that there are some tradesmen who have great quantities of wheat stored in mills since before prices go up. These stored quantities are now sold at the new prices, indicating the avarice and greed of those tradesmen.

Worth-mentioning, the prices of wheat progressively increase since the presidential elections run in September last year. The price of one bag with capacity of 50kg reached at YR5000 while the quotation listed in the state-run press is YR 4000.

However, the president criticized the government for being unable to stabilize prices of wheat and flour, approving a new operation to generate electricity and to provide job opportunities for unemployed people. The operation was valued at two US$ billions. He granted the Economic Corporation with additional amounts valued at YR three billions to purchase and import wheat to face demand of this primary foodstuff.

Worth-noting, the monthly consumption of wheat in Yemen reaches 200,000 ton. However, 94million ton is consumed annually.

The reports of Arab Union for Food Industries indicate that the annual consumption of Arab region is one hundred million ton of cereals, of which 50million ton is wheat. One billion loaves is eaten daily. And, the value of importing wheat reaches US$ 5 billion annually.

Aden Abyan Army Training Tribesmen in Saada War

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Media, Military, Ministries, Saada War, Trials, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:41 am on Thursday, August 16, 2007

Writing about the Aden Abyan Army training tribesmen to fight for the govt prompts terrorism charges by Yemen’s Defense Ministry.

(CPJ/IFEX) – The following is a 31 July 2007 CPJ press release:

Yemeni newspaper attacked, journalists accused of harming national security

New York, July 31, 2007 – The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack by a group of armed men on a fledgling independent Yemeni newspaper in the capital, Sana’a, on Monday. In a possibly related situation, the Yemeni Ministry of Defense has brought a case against the paper accusing it of harming national security, a charge for which the government is seeking the death penalty for three journalists.

Editor-in-Chief Naif Hassan of the independent weekly Al-Sharaa told CPJ that on Monday morning, several armed men in civilian clothing riding in two army jeeps with military license plates stormed the offices of the paper, demanding to see him. Hassan was not present at the time. The men allegedly threatened to kill him, and made derogatory remarks and threatened the employees of the paper in front of the newspaper’s guard and cleaning lady, Hassan told CPJ. The armed men broke two doors and searched the offices.

“We are outraged by the attack on Al-Sharaa and the death threats issued against its editor-in-chief, Naif Hassan,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We call on the Yemeni authorities to investigate this incident in light of the serious allegation that the perpetrators were driving military vehicles, and bring those responsible to justice.”

It was unclear what prompted the raid, although journalists at the paper suspect it was connected to a criminal complaint launched by the Yemeni Ministry of Defense earlier this month against the newspaper, which called for its closure and the death penalty for three of its journalists after it published a controversial series of articles on a conflict in the city of Saada, in northwestern Yemen. (Read on …)

Aden Refinery Not To Be Privatized

Filed under: A-NATURAL RESOURCES, Ministries, Oil, Sudan, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:33 am on Thursday, August 16, 2007

Almotamar.net – Oil and minerals undersecretary Abdumalik Alama reveled Wednesday that Yemen has recently signed contracts with the Emirates Company of Al-Thani to carry out excavation work for gold in Wadi Binna and Kindy Mountain Company in Hajah governorate.

Alama told almotamar.net there are number of Arab and foreign companies that have shown their readiness to invest in oil sector among them the Kuwaiti Kopic and the Emirates Midas adding that was of the results of the investment opportunities conference held in the mid of this year.

He added that miming agreements have been signed with other companies for the excavation of lead and zinc from mines situated to the east of Sana’a. He pointed out there are indicators on possibility of discovery of new oil fields in the near future and consequently there will be investment in them.

On the question of Aden Refinery company privatization the undersecretary affirmed that the file has been closed for good because it was rejected by the parliament as it is being a sovereignty and strategic company.

ADEN, Aug. 15 — The Aden Refineries Company and the Sudanese

Ministry of Energy and Mining signed last Tuesday a minute of

cooperation in training the two countries’ cadres in fields of gas,

refining oil, and earthquake monitoring, serving the economical interests of both countries.

The two sides agreed also on having joint conferences, exchanging

technical proficiencies and visits, as well as benefiting from the countries’ experiences in this view.

The Deputy Minister of Oil and Minerals Abdul Malik Alamah and the Undersecretary of Energy and Mining Ministry Hamad Abdul-Qader Al-Nile signed the minute.

According to a report for the Yemen times, Alamah said that the agreement on this minute happened since the end of the second course, which held in Sana’a between Yemen and Sudan in the petroleum fields.

The Oil Ministry is serious in modernization Aden refinery for about $24-40 millions, he added. “We had, in the second course, clear and determined fields for the cooperation as well as the mechanisms of the implementation. We expect reaching clear and practical things in oil fields.” Al-Nile confirmed.

“The points of meeting between Yemen and Khartoum are that the old Bor Al-Sudan refinery and Aden refinery are from the same kind. But, Aden refinery has specific aims, where as Bor Al-Sudan refinery is stopped now”, he clarified

“The reason is, first and foremost, we wanted to establish a refinery, which fulfills the internal requirements. Now we are about to establish a refinery for exportation. Aden refinery produces internally and we hope to start with new and big units and to establish a new refinery which can export the products oversees”, Al-Nile stated.

He concluded his statement with saying that his visit to Yemen was completely successful, calling upon the implementation of agreement.

Who targets journalists? The National Security, Information Ministry, PSO

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Security Forces, Trials, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 2:59 pm on Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yemen Observer

Journalists angered by restrictions imposed on the media in Yemen are naming names. At a protest Tuesday, they presented a list of the biggest violators of press freedoms and journalists in Yemen since 2005. The demonstration in Sana’a’s Freedom Square was the 14th weekly demonstration journalists have held to demand greater press freedoms.

According to the list provided by Women Journalists Without Chains, a group organizing the protests, the worst on the list is National Security, with 96 breaches, making up 27.82 percent of the violations.
The second is the Ministry of Information, with 95 violations, at 27.53 percent.
The third is the Ministry of Interior, with 54 violations, making up 15.65 percent of violations.
In fourth place is the Political Security Office, having 45 violations and, lastly, the Military Guidance Unit is accused of 11 violations.

These statistics were based on reports by Women Journalists Without Chains, with help from statistics from Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, the US State Department, and the Amman Center for Human Rights.

Corruption Kills Diabetics

Filed under: Corruption, Medical, Ministries, Yemen, drugs — by Jane Novak at 4:10 pm on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yemen Times

During their latest press conference, in response to questions about the shortage of drugs in several governorates, the greatest shortage being of insulin, the director of the Drug Fund indicated that limitations in drug availability are the product of a reduction of the Drug Fund’s budget from 3.5 billion Yemeni riyals to 1.45 billion Yemeni riyals.

One patient expressed their shock at the director’s revelation, stating, “As a patient my reaction is that I am horribly terrified by this news and a person like me is undoubtedly dead either influenced by those declarations in this respect or by actual lack of such indispensable drugs.”

At Thamar General Hospital, several diabetes patients came for their scheduled treatment, only to be turned away due to an insulin shortage. “For three days I came from Yarim and they told me it [insulin] was not available. Both I and my sister are infected and we do not have money to buy this medicine from a private pharmacy,” Nabil Nasser Al-Faqeeh stated, adding, “When I don’t use insulin it leaves very bad consequences on my health. Thus, the only alternative here is the private sector with its expensive prices, which are beyond my ability.” He implored concerned officials to have some mercy and provide enough insulin for health centers. Mr. Al-Faqeeh is just one of many patients who are suffering from a lack of required medicine to treat their illnesses.

Essam Al-Shami, a patient in Wesab province, told Yemen Times, “I came to the health center in the countryside to get myself cured. I got tablets that have no positive effect on me because I am still suffering from a very bad stomachache. Tablets are put in small plastic cases and this is not a good way to [package] medicine. Even the way of dealing with such drugs creates my distrust about their efficiency and maybe they are expired because of putting them in plastic cases.” He added, “This is, in my point of view, a result of the absence of supervision and following up by the concerned officials. Through your newspaper I invite and ask the minister of public health to make inspection campaigns and to pay frequent sudden visits to the public hospitals and such health centers. In this way he is going to discover several problems that could get solutions and lead to a better health change.”

Public Drugs Sold to Private Sector

Although there are adequate drugs, many are stolen and sold to the private sector, according to an official source in the Supreme Drugs Authority. The source states that birth control belonging to the Ministry of Health has been discovered being sold in private pharmacies at Al-Jumhori Hospital. There are many drugs belonging to the Ministry of Health being sold secretly to the private sector during distribution among governorates, the same source indicated. Currently, investigation of two suspects is underway. Secret investigation committees have also been formed in Sana’a, Taiz and Hodeidah in order to determine if drugs belonging to the Ministry are in fact being sold to the private sector.

The Problem of Centralization0

Dr. Najeeb Ghanim, ex-health minister and current chairman of the health committee in Parliament confirmed receiving several complaints regarding corruption in the health sector.

Centralization is one of the main causes of this problem, as imported drugs are stored in one central location and not distributed to public hospitals and health centers immediately. According to Dr. Ghanim, delayed distribution increases chances for the drugs to be stolen and then sold to the private sector. He added, “There is a big problem, from which the health sector suffers, [and that is the] sharp shortage of life-saving drugs such as kidneys drugs, drugs for incurable diseases like cancer and cirrhosis and drugs for chronic diseases such as saccharine, high blood pressure and so on.”

Dr. Ghanim has spoken out about the existence of expired drugs and drugs that do not meet property quality specifications. He also indicated that funding for drugs is inadequate, averaging $1.50 per patient. Funding needed amounts to around 6 billion Yemeni riyals whereas the current funding lags at one billion two hundred Yemeni riyals.

Struggle Between Ministry of Health & Medical Companies

During a July 4th demonstration, considered the first of its kind in Yemen, kidney patients demanded that the ministry stop importing “fake medicines,” accusing the ministry of buying uncertified medicine at low costs and then charging patients highly inflated prices.

Minister of Public Health Dr. Rasae accused major medical companies, blacklisted by the Ministry of Health, of devising a campaign against the ministry.

Such conflict between the ministry and medical companies does nothing to solve medication shortages. In the end, Yemeni citizens who rely on public access to such medicine are the ones who suffer.

Dangerous Pesticides Still Being Imported

Filed under: Enviornmental, Ministries, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 3:55 pm on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some brave person appears to be fighting alone to implement the law on bringing in banned pesticides, and of course the persons bringing them in are powerful merchants and importers:

Almotamar.net – Official sources issued warning Tuesday that there are attempts of fraud by some importers and merchants of pesticides regarding the list of prohibited insecticides representing 349 active substances containing more than 800 trade marks of dangerous pesticides and most of them cause cancer.

A source close to the committee registering pesticides at the ministry of agriculture said some importers and merchants of insecticides were trying to enter large quantities of them, which are prohibited from circulation, on the list of allowed types of pesticides.

The source appealed to all concerned government institutions for activation of the list of banned materials and toehold accountable anyone who tries to trade with those pesticides with only aim of profit at the expense of the public health of the citizens, soil and plants.

Journalists Beaten

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Political Opposition, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 12:56 pm on Thursday, July 26, 2007

SANA’A, NewsYemen:

Minister of Information Hassan al-Lawzi issued on Saturday four permissions for four new private newspapers Aba’ad (Dimensions), Ein (Eye), Etijahat (Tendencies) and Saraha “Truthfulness”.

The ministry said the licenses for these four newspapers were issued after they had met all conditions included in the Law of Press and Publications.
According to the decisions Ameera Ali Bakhtan al-Aswadi will head the Sana’a-based Aba’ad weekly, Abdul-Hakim Mohammad Awadh al-Jaberi will head the Ein weekly to be located in Hadhramout, Ahmad Mahdi al-Asadi will head the quarterly Etijahat headquartered in Sana’a and Saeef Abdullah al-Wishali will be the editor-in-chief of the Saraha weekly.

The decisions of the ministry come while journalists continue their sits-in outside the ministry’ headquarters every Tuesday protesting the ministry’s delay to give many newspapers permissions to be run, claiming they have met all legal conditions. Journalists, supported by human rights activists also protest the ministry’s decision to blockade the SMS news service of Nasspress and Journalists Without Chains.

Yemen Times

The regular sit-in for journalists and activists in “Freedom Square” did not take place on Tuesday as usual. When the protestors went to take their usual positions for the 12th time, they found another group already occupying the square. This groups was pro-Saleh celebrating the 29 years for President Saleh in power. The activists decided to delay their protest to the next day, which turned out bloody as the previous day group came while the protestors were listening to a speech and started bashing everyone with sticks and targeting certain leading activists with daggers.

SANA’A, July 18 — At least five people were injured in the clash that took place yesterday during the usual sit-in organized by journalists and human rights activists demanding “media freedom.”

“The interlacement began when 200 people in plain uniform carrying sticks and cudgels attacked the strikers who were about 150 men and women,” said Abdul Rahman Barman, human rights activist and one of the sit-in participants. He added that during the attack, which continued for an hour and a half, the strikers raised their pens in an attempt to escape the commotion, only to be surrounded and prevented from doing so by the attackers. “It was a very organized attack. The attackers were addressing specific people and attacking them directly. Some tried to stab a parliament member who was participating in the peaceful sit-in. The attackers also assaulted the female participants. In addition, they broke the cameras and signs that we used in the sit-in,” Barman described.

Fuad Dahpa, a member of the parliament who belongs to the Islah Party, confirmed that he survived the attack. He demanded the interior minister to investigate the incident, insisting that he will demand the interrogation of the interior minister regarding his responsibility to protect citizens who participate in peaceful marches.

Security forces, which were guarding the cabinet building, fired extensively to disperse the crowd. Those injured were transported to area hospitals, according to one eyewitness.

Khaled Al-Ansi, executive director of the human rights organization HOOD, stated that he did not attend the sit-in due to warnings he received from “resources from the cabinet office,” who mentioned that he would be subjected to an attack if he participated in the strike. Al-Ansi described what happened as “bullying activities,” warning that such acts may aim to promote the enforcement of laws preventing peaceful sit-ins.

The recent strike was the tenth among many strikes organized by journalists, human rights activists and politicians, who decided to hold demonstrations and sit-ins every Tuesday in Freedom Square until their demands are met.

The sit-ins fall within a framework of demonstrations staged to protest the blocking of SMS news services and electronic web sites, in addition to demanding the release of imprisoned journalists such as Abdul Karim Al-Khaiwani.

It is worth mentioning that this strike took place on Wednesday instead of Tuesday because of attempts by security forces to prevent strikers from demonstrating in front of the cabinet building, using the excuse that the square was crowded by dancers and people celebrating President Saleh’s re-election. Although demonstrators were not convinced of such an excuse, they agreed to delay the sit-in until Wednesday.

Marib Security Investigates

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Ministries, Presidency, Security Forces, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:50 pm on Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mareb, (26Sept.net) – The Director of Mareb security, Brigadier General Mohammad Al-Ghadra confirmed that the process of gathering information and evidence about the terrorist elements involved on heinous crime that targeted a convoy of Spanish tourists and a number of Yemeni companions still ongoing and intensive.

In a statement to “26Sept.net”, Director of Mareb security pointed out that the information gathered by the security apparatus so far have confirmed that the planners and perpetrators of this terrorist operation are from al-Qaeda, stressing that the investigation procedures are in accordance with an integrated mechanism and the employees of the criminal lab conduct to complete the mission and make the analysis of the quality of the explosives that were used in the car bomb, its size and destructive capacity.

The source revealed to “26Sept.net” that the outcome of the investigations conducted so far has uncovered categorically that a terrorist bomber was driving a booby-trapped car (Toyota) has stormed a convoy of cars carrying Spanish tourists and his car was carrying a number of cylinders of oxygen gas of the type used in hospitals, and a number of artillery shells (132mm), in addition to the explosives of TNT type.

The security sources said that it is currently being examined pieces of the remains that were found scattered at the scene, including pieces found in the crater created by the explosion of the car bomb driven by terrorist suicide, and it is currently being examined (DNA) acid of those pieces in a criminal specialized labs in Spain in the framework of the Yemeni-Spanish cooperation in the investigation of the incident where it is expected through screening results of DNA to discover the identity of the perpetrator of the terrorist incident.

YO: Saleh, not Yemenis. Al-Alimi, the cost of cooperation. (Read on …)

WHO to Administer Health Ministry Tenders

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:10 pm on Sunday, July 8, 2007

Health budget reduced by more than half.

Minster turns purchasing over the WHO

Still shortage of dialysis machines

Yemen Times
SANA’A, July 2 — The Minister of Public Health & Population, Dr. Abdulkarim Rasae stated that the former Government decisions of reducing the Medicine Fund’s budget has affected the medicine policy negatively.

In a press conference held on Monday the minister said, that reducing the fund budget from YR 3.5 billion to YR 1.450 billion led the Ministry to change all strategies to supply the biggest possible quantity of medicine.

In the conference which was held in response to the press campaign on the Ministry’s policy for the purchase of medicines and the process of choosing companies for supply of medicines, Rasa’a accused some big medical companies to be behind the press campaign against the Ministry because they were blacklisted as they had not fulfilled their commitments to supply kidney medicines last year.

The Minister clarified that all the ministry’s tenders, whose foreign aid constitute 60% of the Ministry’s medicine budget, have been transferred to the World Health Organization and UNICEF for the implementation. “Concerning the Government budget, we will follow the same policy if we get an approval from the Ministry of Finance” he declared, considering this measure as “an un-precedent step in the history of the Ministry”. He explained that the ministry followed such measures to be able to focus on making prescription drug plans and policies as well as issuing tenders for purchase of medicines.

Regarding the last medicine tenders issued by the Ministry, the Minister clarified that the Ministry concentrated on important points; the product quality, cost, biological formation and expiration period. For the implementation of the medicine policy the Minister said, that the Ministry was being assisted by two foreign experts from WHO and the WB.

The Minister also said that there is a misunderstanding about the types of different medicines in Yemen, “People think that they are original and or fake types of medicines, which is not true. It is just a difference in the trade name but the scientific name and quality are the same.”

After the Minister’s speech the Representative from WHO Dr. Ghulam Rabani confirmed the Minister’s points stated above and has said that WHO has a list of top quality companies from which medicines are purchased.

In an answer to Yemen Times’ question whether the medication policy is comprehensive in the sense that it is not limited to the medicine purchase tenders he says” It is an inclusive policy that follows up the medicine from the purchase stage until it is in the reach of the patients.

Public Works Ministry Reforms

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Corruption, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:07 am on Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Almotamar.net – The Yemen’s ministry of public works decided Saturday to undertake paving streets with asphalt through its establishments to avoid repeating what it described as contractors manipulation and mistakes. It decided that contractors role will be confined to cutting and slabbing streets. At the same time the ministry changed 13 directors general and administration directors in the ministry and its institutions.

An official source at the ministry told almotamar.net that a ministry decree has been issued recently stipulating the effecting of central units for works in all governorates of Yemen.

The source indicated that each of the central units are composed of three engineers entertaining high experiences to supervise directly the projects in governorates in return for each employee in the unit is paid YR 250 thousand wages and prevents contractors implementing projects the paying of any sums.

The source also mentioned about efforts by the minister of public works to confirm what the law stipulates of transferring 3% of each project to the ministry’s account as supervision allowance and the ministry of finance undertakes deduction of the sum and transfers it to the ministry’s account.

The source affirmed that the changes made by the ministry confirms the ministry’s serious seeking of administrative and financial reform and improving income level of the ministry’s employees income. He said it has been adopted the linking of incentives and rewards criteria to the level of performance and discipline in work of employees.

State promises media freedom (again) as protest mount

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2007

YO

The Ministry of Information plans to allow private ownership of television and radio channels, said Minister of Information Hassen al-Lawzi this week. “This law will eliminate the state control of the radio and television, and give private institutions the possibility of investing in radio stations and television,” he said. The new law will also establish guidelines for the electronic press, he said. Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Information said that the new law will be the subject of consultations with all interested parties, particularly the Yemen Journalists Syndicate, to create the best formulas to reflect the evolution of press freedoms in Yemen. (Read on …)

PM’s Nephew Murdered

Filed under: Ministries, Targeting, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:15 pm on Monday, June 11, 2007

Could be some tribal thing unrelated to the current political situation, but generally speaking, marching: good; shooting: bad.

Almotamar.net – A relative of the Yemeni Prime Minister Dr Ali Mohammed Mujwar died in Abyan governorate Sunday evening of fire shots by unidentified gunmen.

Security sources told almotamar.net that Farid Saleh Ahmed Mujwar nephew of the prime minister, the son of Abyan governor brother died Sunday of fire shots by unidentified persons when he was in a farm where he works as agent to its owner in Sakin Uwais area, 5 km from Jaar district in Abyan governorate.

Security men closed down the area where the incident took place to chase and arrest the killers, their motives are not known yet.

Media Sit-In Objects to Statements in al-Motamar Mischaractering Their Position

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Political Opposition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:26 pm on Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sit-in Protestors in Freedom Yard Surprised by Statements of Anonymous to Al-Motamar Net

Saturday 09 June 2007 / hoodonline.org

The delegation of the protestors of the sit-in in the Freedom Yard for the right to own mass media and the freedom of expression and the right for getting and circulating the information were surprised by the statement of an anonymous in the Cabinet Ministers to Al-Motamar Net on the result of their meeting with the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Telecommunications and Information on last Sunday.

The delegation said that we feel sorry for the incorrect information that were conveyed by the anonymous source in his statement to Al-Motamar Net as he narrated the details of agreement which never happened. We hope that the prime Minister and the two Ministers of Telecommunications and Information know about this shameful statement and we hold those who are getting benefit from such rumors responsible for such inaccuracies and what is known by the Prime Minister and the two Ministers is that the suggestion of withhold news services from all the side except for Saba News Agency is placed by Dr. Ali Mojwar, Prime Minister to respond to the problems raised by the Minister of Information that there are no legal provisions allowing the possession of such services which was absolutely rejected by the sit-in participants delegation.
(Read on …)

Yemeni Expatriates to be Scrutinized from A to Z by Interior Ministry

Filed under: Diplomacy, Ministries, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:25 pm on Thursday, June 7, 2007

thats really scary

YO: The Ministry of Expatriates plans to conduct an accurate census of Yemenis abroad, in order to enlist them in the development of their homeland. The survey aims to provide a database on the expatriates that would help track these people, so as to provide them with various services. The survey also is intended to get expatriates involved in Yemen’s development plans and programs, said the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Affairs, Ibrahim Abdul-Rashid. This survey is in response to an order from President Ali Abdullah Saleh, made during his visit to America in May.

The project has already launched and completed some initial preparations with the Central Statistical Organization, he said. The carrying out of this survey was ordered by the Expatriates Care Law of 2002, which holds that all Yemeni expatriates have the same rights as all Yemeni citizens within Yemen. This survey is one of six plans that the ministry will carry out concerning the affairs of Yemeni expatriates. Rashid said that the ministry coordinates and cooperates with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Central Statistical Organization, and all the concerned bodies, such as the Ministry of Interior and the General Investment Authority, with the implementation of the survey. (Read on …)

Freedom House an Ignoramous: Minister of Information

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:20 pm on Thursday, June 7, 2007

Related: Al-Sahwa

June 6 ,2007- The Secretary General of the Nasserite Unionist People’s Organization has accused the leadership of the Information Ministry of dictatorship.

He further said in a sit-in arranged by journalists, MPs, human rights activists and syndicate representatives on Wednesday before the Cabinet that there is a covert government which is the real runner of the state while the cabinet’s ministers are unable to do anything.

He affirmed that many MPs demanded to attend the information minister before the Parliament, pointing that there is no laws that ban SMS services.

Meanwhile, the senior parliamentarian, Mansour al-Zandani, told Alsahwa.net that the measures taken by the Information Minister; blocking news websites and limiting SMS services, are lawless.

The MP, Aidros al-Naqib demanded the protesters to perform al-Joma prayer before the Cabinet in the court which is lately called by the journalists as the freedom court.

The lawyer Khalid al-Anisi , portrayed cracking down freedoms as killing to the president’s platform which he had promised in his campaign.

Freedom House Report Reaction

YO:

Despite the government’s claims to the contrary, Yemen’s press is still struggling against confining shackles, said a new report on press freedom issued by Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. The new report gives Yemen a mark of 80 out of 100, which is considered a low mark, said the report. The Survey of the Freedom of Press 2007 stated that there are many laws that could be good for the press, but they are not actually put into practice. (Read on …)

Yemeni Parliament Thwarts Prime Minister

Filed under: GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:33 am on Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Almotamar.net – Yemen’s Prime Minister Dr Ali Mohammed Mujawar admitted that this government faces problems because of stand of the Genera; People’s Congress (GPC) parliamentary majority that refuses many of laws proposed by the government.

The prime minister said his government faces problems with the parliament regarding approval of some draft laws although the government is that of the majority. He added that the parliament plays a big role with regard to the political side and all draft laws are passed through it.

Dr Mujawar made it clear there is a programme of the government that defined new trends concerning issues of investment. He added that priority is to be given to the private sector with the aim of gradually limiting unemployment. For Yemen investment in it is the best in the region as the investor gets bigger opportunities in a short time and in one file and that makes Yemen receive big trust from Arab and foreign investors.

Private Ownership of Broadcast Media Promised in Yemen

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:30 am on Friday, June 1, 2007

a) I’ll believe it when I see it.
b) And its not government proxies operating in disguise.

Almotamar.net – The Yemeni minister of information Hassan al-Lawzi said Saturday his ministry was planning to develop media work including the establishment of launching three a number of new Yemeni TV satellite channels. He said the channel 2, transmitting from Aden is to be specialised in political, economic and cultural issues in addition to a third channel concerned with educational and tourist promotion and issues of the youth.

Al-Lawzi added the government is working in the next year to open five local broadcasting stations in the governorates of Saada, Mareb, Shabwa, and Socotra in addition to the radio station in Ibb that was inaugurated last month.

The minister also revealed that there will be holding a national conference to be participated by political forces, specialised talents, university professors and people interested in media aspect, aiming at reconsideration of the media policy. In an interview to Al-Raya newspaper Al-Lawzi added that the existence of a new law allowing establishment of private TV and radio stations will abolish monopoly of the state establishment of broadcasting and television of radio and TV transmission and give private establishments the possibility of investment in radio and TV stations.

Human Right Ministry Demands Hostages’ Release

Filed under: General, Ministries, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 6:57 am on Friday, June 1, 2007

Almotamar.net – Yemeni Human Rights Ministry dispatched Wednesday a memorandum to the general prosecutor demanding the release of 40 prisoners from the Central Prison in Sana’a. Those prisoners have been detained as hostages under orders of sheiks and influential personalities.

A source at the ministry told almotamar.net that disclosure of hostage prisoners came during a visit to the Central Prison last week made by the Minister for Human Rights Huda Al-Ban and jurists from the ministry for the purpose of seeing conditions of prisoners, the source pointed out that the visit disclosed the presence of 40 prisoners retained as hostages by sheikhs and 30 of them have been detained under requests by sheikh in Yemen over their relatives’ commitment of killing crimes, vengeance and other cases.

The source clarified that some prisoners have been held for more than ten years and have not been tried until now. He said the Human Rights Ministry asked last week to meet the general prosecutor to discuss cases of prison inmates imprisoned by illegal ways and to release them in addition to solving problems of insolvent prisoners. But the meeting was postponed to this week, the source said.

MTN stops mobile news alerts

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:51 am on Sunday, May 27, 2007

Yemen Times

SANA’A, May 26 — The press and those interested in news services provided by GSM companies denounced blocking the news services of Nass Mobile and Without Chains Mobile, respectively telecast by Al-Nass Establishment for Press and Women Journalists Without Chains and provided by Yemen’s MTN telecommunications company. They also denounced the nonstop blocking of Al-Shoura.net and Aleshteraki.net web sites by Yemen’s Telecommunications Ministry. (Read on …)

Al-Alimi Interview

Filed under: Ministries, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:59 am on Saturday, May 26, 2007

26 Septemper News

SANA’A, May 24, (26sep.net) – Deputy PM and Minister of Interior, Rashad Al-Alimi described President Saleh’s order to suspend military operations in Saada governorate as a historical one , and stressed on leaders of sabotage and terrorism in Sa’dah to respond to this decision.

In a press conference held today in the cabinet in the presence of Minister of Information Mr. Hasan Al-Laowzi said that Yemeni religious scholars are still in Saada governorate waiting for response from sabotage and terrorism leaders in some Saada’s directorates. He emphasized the security positions in Sa’dah governorate and its all directorates are absolutely under control of the armed forces and security in exception of three directorates: Al-Ghamr, Qatayer and Razeh for avoiding more victims and causalities among citizens, children and women as the terrorist elements used them as human shields.

He mentioned that when the terrorist elements in Sa’dah governorate collapsed, they (terrorist elements) sent a number of cells to conduct terror operations in the capital secretariat, of which one bombs exploded on 21 May in the eve of the National Unity Day and resulted in killing of one child and injured another, who still in the hospital, adding that the security forces have put out of action of five explosive charges during the late hours of 21 May in the eve of the National Unity Day which may be resulted of several causalities and victims.

He said the terrorist elements send sabotage elements to the capital secretariat to carry out sabotage and terror acts against innocent children and women, where they put explosions in mobiles and devices boxes used in the public gardens and places visited by children and women.

Iran and Libya of Sa’dah events

Minister of Interior and Vice Prime Minister, Rashad Al-Alimi unveiled that the security apparatus had controlled Iranian elements involved on criminal acts and drugs trafficking in Yemen, requiring Iranian government to express and define its stance of Sa’dah events. On the other hand, he appreciated Libya late stance of Sa’dah events.

Activity of Drugs Trafficking

He asserted that investigations have been proved the link of terrorist elements with the drugs trafficking to Saudi Arabia.

He said Yemen during last two years 2006 and 2007 have be enabled to control tons of drugs directed to the Gulf and the Arabian peninsula, especially the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia.

Al-Alimi added there is a close cooperation and coordination with the KSA in fighting drugs. He mentioned the drugs trafficking have been activated during the last six months and many drugs traffickers have been arrested and introduced to trial.

He hinted the drugs traffickers across Yemen-Saudi borders, especially in Sa’dah and Hajjah governorates have a link with the insurgents in Sa’dah governorate.

He mentioned the security apparatus have evidences and proofs that terrorist elements have drugs and used it for funding the sabotage acts and carried out attacks in Sa’dah.

In a videotape and pictures, the minister presented a large quantity of drugs controlled three days ago by the security apparatus in Ammran governorate, which it was directed to Sa’dah governorate.
He went on the activity of drugs trafficking during last six months because insurgents in Sa’dah governorate controlled most parts of areas of Yemeni-Saudi borders.

Security Proliferation

Al-Alimi explained the fifth phase of the security proliferation plan will be inaugurated next July, which will cover all the rest of directorates in the Republic to safe highways and roads

In the government strategy of removing weapons sources, Al-Alimi clarified that weapons considered an essential problem for threatening stability and security in Yemen.

In this regard, the National Defense Council was held a meeting headed by president Saleh and took a historical decision to collect the heavy, middle weapons and firecrackers in the property of Yemeni citizens.

There are pledges from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to support the project of disarmaments, not for Yemen safety but for safety all the region, Al-Alimi said.

The government was made a brave order to halt all weapons sale shops and markets and a field committee made a visit to all the governorates to ensure of closing such weapons shops, Al-Alimi said.

African Refugees to Yemen

Al-Alimi pointed out that the problem of refugees from African Horn to Yemen is due to that Yemen has 2400 km coastline, the matter which many efforts have been exerted to safe sea borders and prevent infiltrating and smuggling.

The coastguards plan will end in 2010, through which the government will complete during next three years all procedures pertain to protection of Yemen coastline whether relate to radars network or security control center or pavement that protect Yemeni coastline, Al-Alimi pointed out.

Source: 26 September Net

The Educational Channel Unable to Broadcast

Filed under: Education, Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:29 pm on Monday, March 6, 2006

grrrr…..

The Educational Channel is still waiting for permission to start broadcasting despite meeting all the necessary requirements to spread its educational message in the very best manner. The Educational Channel has a building of its own in Sana’a and, since it was established in 2000, has produced several programs for education.
However, Al-Qodaimi said that the channel is ready to operate right away, and has brought in many experts to complete all that was required of it.

this is good:

A students’ television quiz competition on the Educational Channel, ‘The Knights of Knowledge’, was launched on Thursday March 2 by Dr.Abdul-Aziz Hubtoor, the Vice-Minister of Education in Sana’a.
The competition is organized by the Sana’a Educational Channel, and involves 72 12th-grade students – both boys and girls – from 18 governorates.

The cultural and knowledge competition is run by the Educational Channel, presented and hosted by the announcer Abdul-Karim Al-Shaibani, and directed by Tawfiq Al-Qodaimi, the General Manager of the Educational Channel.

The competition includes several subjects includes science and general knowledge and ranges from the environment, society and questions from the students’ school curricula.
Filming of the third round of the competition is just taking place, with a total of 16 overall to be shot. When finished it will be broadcast on Yemen’s three channels: Sana’a Satellite Channel, Sana’a Earth Channel and May 22 Earth Channel.

The shooting of the competition will last until March 13, and the competition will also include sections showing art and creative work by the students in the daily celebration nights of the competition.
Speaking at the launch Dr.Hubtoor stressed the importance of organizing such creative and cultural competitions, which he said would contribute to the development of students’ skills and personality building.
He also said that such competitions enriched the students’ experiences and helped in learning and the exchange of information. It also served to help boost national unity by gathering students from all over Yemen’s governorate at one site.

From the YO.

The Cabinet Reshuffle in Yemen

Filed under: Ministries, Yemen, Yemen-Democracy — by Jane Novak at 4:36 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2006

Interesting. al-Jaifri as Minster of Justice seemed to be one who was authentically striving for reforms. Im sorry to see him moved. That’s not a good sign and I have to analyse this. It could be an opportunity to crack up the embedded extra-institutional power structures and invigorate the democratic process, or it could be a retrenching and consolidation of loyalists under the guise of reform (with the pretense of sincere concern in reaction to the escape) and populist propaganda in advance of the elections. I am hoping for option one.

SANA’A Feb 11 (Saba) – The republican decree No. 8 for the year
2006 was issued and stipulated a ministerial amendment in the
government of Premier Abdul Qader Ba Jammal, as follows:

Rashad Mohammad al-Alimi – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
Mohammad Naser Ahmad Ali – Minister of Defense.
Hassan Ahmad al-Lawzi – Minister of the information.
Abdul Kareem Ismail al-Arhabi – Minister of Planning and the
International Cooperation.
Abu Bakr al-Qirbi – Minister of the Foreign and Expatriate.

Ali Mohammad Majoor – Minister of the Electricity.

Adnan al-Jefri – Minister of Legal Affairs.

Khalid Abdullah Al-Rowishan – Minister of Culture.

Galal Ibrahim Faqirah – Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation.

Abdul Kareem Rasei – Minister of Public Health and Population.

Seif Mahyoub Al-Asali – Minister of Finance
.
Mahmoud Ibrahim Sageri – Minister of Fishery Wealth.

Gazi Shaif al-Agbari – Minister of Justice.

Saleh Ali Ba-Surah – Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Amat Al-Razaq Ali Hamad – Minister of Social Affairs and Labor.

Nabil Hassan al-Faqih – Minister of Tourism.

Khadigah Ahmad al-Haisami – Minister of Human Rights.

Omar Abdullah Al-Qurshumi Minister of Public Works and Roads.

Abdul Rahman Fadhl al-Eryani – Minister of Water and Environment.

Khalid Mahfouz Ba-Hah – Minister of Oil and Minerals.

Rashad Ahmad al-Rassas – Minister of Parliament and Shura Councils .

Yahya Mohammad al-Shoaibi – Minister of State and Sana’a City Mayor.

Websense Blocking Yemeni Internet

Filed under: Media, Ministries, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:49 am on Friday, February 25, 2005

Internet Filtering in Yemen in 2004-2005: A Country Study

Internet Filtering in Yemen in 2004-2005

(PDF Version)

The Republic of Yemen limits what Internet content its citizens can access by using commercially available filtering technology and by controlling its two Internet service providers (ISPs), TeleYemen (operators of the service YNET) and YemenNet, through the state’s powerful Ministry of Telecommunications. The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) tested the filtering systems of both ISPs, and found significant congruence but also notable differences between the two. Pornography is the primary target of both, but other types of content are targeted to varying degrees, including sex education and provocative clothing sites, gay and lesbian-related materials, gambling sites, dating sites, drug-related sites, sites enabling anonymous Web surfing, proxy servers that circumvent filtering, and sites with content related to converting Muslims to other religions.

The Republic of Yemen’s legal regime involves relatively little formal restriction of Internet use and access, though the rules set by the ISPs include substantial restrictions on what may be accessed or published. These rules prohibit the access or publication of material deemed to be obscene or subversive on political or religious grounds. Human rights and other non-governmental organizations have complained that the Yemeni state restricts what journalists may write and how citizens use the Internet through a variety of means of intimidation. However, Internet access is readily available from homes or Internet cafés for those who can afford it.

To carry out its filtering regime, Yemen relies upon the commercial product Websense. ONI’s testing reveals that TeleYemen blocks sites classified by Websense into the categories “Adult Content,” “Lingerie and Swimsuit,” “Nudity,” “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest,” and “Sex Education,” and likely blocks the master category “Adult Material.” TeleYemen also uses a category called “User-Defined,” which enables a filtering entity to compile and block sites based on its own criteria. The sites included by TeleYemen in the “User-Defined” category primarily deal with religion and the religious conversion of Muslims. The specific Websense categories blocked by YemenNet are “Adult Content,” “Lingerie and Swimsuit,” “Nudity,” “Sex Education,” “Abused Drugs,” “Marijuana,” and “Gambling,” and likely the master category “Adult Material.”

While the Republic of Yemen substantially filters material on topics related to sex, sexuality and gambling, the state does not try to control broadly what its citizens see on the Internet. For instance, unlike certain other states that filter Internet content, Yemen does not block political content and its blocking of religious content is limited, focusing only on a small number of anti-Islam sites.
Related Projects

Internet Filtering in Bahrain
Internet Filtering in Burma
Internet Filtering in China
Internet Filtering in Iran
Internet Filtering in Saudi Arabia
Internet Filtering in Singapore
Internet Filtering in Tunisia
Internet Filtering in the United Arab Emirates
ONI Country Studies

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Political, Technical, and Legal Context in Yemen

A. Sensitive / Controversial Topics for Media Coverage
B. Internet Infrastructure and Access
C. Legal Background

3. Testing Methodology

A. Methods
B. Results Analysis
C. Methods Specific to Yemen
D. Topics Tested

4. Results and Analysis

A. Summary
B. Global List Results
C. Yemen Specific Results
D. Longitudinal Testing Results

5. Conclusion

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

Appendix 7

Appendix 8

Appendix 9

Appendix 10

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Republic of Yemen limits what Internet content its citizens can access by using commercially available filtering technology and by controlling its two Internet service providers (ISPs), TeleYemen (operators of the service YNET) and YemenNet, through the state’s powerful Ministry of Telecommunications. The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) tested the filtering systems of both ISPs, and found significant congruence but also notable differences between the two.1 Pornography is the primary target of both, but other types of content are targeted to varying degrees, including sex education and provocative clothing sites, gay and lesbian-related materials, gambling sites, dating sites, drug-related sites, sites enabling anonymous Web surfing, proxy servers that circumvent filtering, and sites with content related to converting Muslims to other religions.

The Republic of Yemen’s legal regime involves relatively little formal restriction of Internet use and access, though the rules set by the ISPs include substantial restrictions on what may be accessed or published. These rules prohibit the access or publication of material deemed to be obscene or subversive on political or religious grounds. Human rights and other non-governmental organizations have complained that the Yemeni state restricts what journalists may write and how citizens use the Internet through a variety of means of intimidation. However, Internet access is readily available from homes or Internet cafés for those who can afford it.

To carry out its filtering regime, Yemen relies upon the commercial product Websense. ONI’s testing reveals that TeleYemen blocks sites classified by Websense into the categories “Adult Content,” “Lingerie and Swimsuit,” “Nudity,” “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest,” and “Sex Education,” and likely blocks the master category “Adult Material.” TeleYemen also uses a category called “User-Defined,” which enables a filtering entity to compile and block sites based on its own criteria. The sites included by TeleYemen in the “User-Defined” category primarily deal with religion and the religious conversion of Muslims. The specific Websense categories blocked by YemenNet are “Adult Content,” “Lingerie and Swimsuit,” “Nudity,” “Sex Education,” “Abused Drugs,” “Marijuana,” and “Gambling,” and likely the master category “Adult Material.”

While the Republic of Yemen substantially filters material on topics related to sex, sexuality and gambling, the state does not try to control broadly what its citizens see on the Internet. For instance, unlike certain other states that filter Internet content, Yemen does not block political content and its blocking of religious content is limited, focusing only on a small number of anti-Islam sites.

2. POLITICAL, TECHNICAL, AND LEGAL CONTEXT IN YEMEN

A. Sensitive / Controversial Topics for Media Coverage
Sensitive issues for media in Yemen include: policies towards the southern part of the state (in which region the 1994 Yemeni civil war was fought), relations with other states such as Saudi Arabia, corruption, and anti-terrorism policy.2 Yemen has demonstrated particular sensitivity to media coverage of security issues since the bombing of the United States warship U.S.S. Cole off its shores in October 2000. Criticism of the government has resulted in arrests of journalists,3 and Yemen works to control reporting on its armed forces.4 Yemen is also concerned about pornography, obscene material, and content that is objectionable on religious grounds (for example, converting an adherent from Islam to another religion is illegal).5 The state is especially sensitive to how security issues are covered because of Yemen’s role in anti-terrorism efforts, and the Ministry of the Interior has filed lawsuits against journalists for alleged violations of the press law in covering security issues.6 The state has no tolerance for Islamic extremism. It closed 4,000 religious schools in 2004 on the grounds that their funding and curricula came from sources that encouraged violence and civil unrest.7 Among these sources, the state claimed, was material written by Hussein Badrudin Al-Houthi, a dissident cleric whose clash with the state over its pro-American policies ended in bloodshed and Al-Houthi’s death.8

B. Internet Infrastructure and Access
Internet use in the Republic of Yemen is confined to a very small percentage of the population, but is limited more by economic factors than by state-sanctioned censorship. Compared to other states in the region, Yemen’s people are relatively poor on the whole, a fact that is borne out in the lack of Internet access for the vast majority of the population. There are over a million land lines in Yemen9, and about 400,000 mobile phone users.10 Telephone density is the lowest in the region, due to the population’s poverty and the difficult physical geography.11 Estimates of the number of Internet users vary between 100,00012 and 150,000.13 Barriers to expanded use include the high cost of computers relative to low average incomes, the high cost of access, and the low bandwidth available on Yemen’s telephone-based infrastructure.14 Businesses own 60% of Internet subscriber accounts, while government and educational institutions are responsible for only 3% of accounts.15 Far fewer women than men access the Internet, which may be attributable to the high illiteracy rate among Yemeni women (nearly 75%).16

Home Internet access is not legally restricted in Yemen. Internet cafés, though, are a far more important venue for Internet access. Yemen has an estimated 250 Internet cafés just in the capital city of Sana’a.17 Approximately 61% of the state’s Internet users gain their access through these cafés.17

Yemen has two ISPs, TeleYemen19 and YemenNet.20 YemenNet predominates, providing 89% of all dialup accounts, because its services are free apart from an initial registration fee and a negligible dial-up fee.21 Both ISPs rely on the U.S.-based Websense22 filtering company to provide the software for their filtering lists and blocking mechanisms. TeleYemen employs a single dedicated Websense server and possesses individual licenses for each user. YemenNet, which uses a Blue Coat integrated cache/filter appliance running Websense, possesses only 10,000 concurrent user licenses to cover over 65,000 users. Thus, if more than 10,000 YemenNet subscribers access the Internet simultaneously, the requests of all but the first 10,000 will circumvent the filtering software.

The filtering practices of both ISPs are transparent � users are notified of filtering and told why particular sites are blocked. Despite the filtering, one study found 46% of entertainment Web sites requested by users were pornographic, and 43% of Internet café owners reported that users tried to access pornography.23 The most common Internet uses are e-mail and chatting.24

C. Legal Background

1. General Media Regulation
Yemen openly censors sexual and religious content (particularly material critical of Islam) on the Internet to preserve Islamic values and tradition. Similarly, “Customs officials confiscate foreign publications regarded as pornographic or objectionable because of religious or political content.”25 For a time, Yemen took a relatively liberal approach to regulation of media content by regional standards, tolerating some dissent and even direct criticism.26 The state does not usually censor online political content, and many Yemeni political groups have accessible Web sites, indicating tolerance for some dissenting voices.27 Despite the relatively free press in Yemen during the 1990s, Yemeni journalists reportedly suffered some harassment at the hands of the state. In particular, journalists at the Yemen Times were frequently targeted with violence, threats, and arbitrary imprisonment.28

The Yemeni state seemed poised to reduce pressure on and detention of journalists somewhat beginning in July 2002, when the President declared an amnesty for all journalists and dropped all existing charges.29 However, throughout 2003 and 2004, the government handed down prison sentences to several journalists and suspended the publication of various newspapers. In 2003, when Nasserist Party newspaper al-Wahdawi published content critical of Saudi Arabia, three of its journalists were given suspended prison sentences for harming Yemeni-Saudi relations.30 In 2004, the state shut down opposition newspaper Al-Shoura for 6 months and sentenced its editor, Abdul Karim Al-Khaiwani, to a year in prison for publishing editorials31 criticizing the president’s violent handling of the Al-Houthi uprising.32 Human rights observers responded to the arrest with outrage,33 and Al-Khaiwani was released after seven months of petitioning by international human rights and press freedom organizations,34 as well as prodding by the US government.35 In an exceptional case, the state also imprisoned several merchants for selling a cassette tape containing poetry critical of the government.36

The Yemen Press Law, signed in December 1990 by President Ali Abdullah Salih, is the primary legal instrument regulating print and broadcast media.37 This law theoretically establishes a press that “shall be independent and shall have full freedom to practice its vocation,” but that must operate “within the context of Islamic creed, within the basic principles of the Constitution, goals of the Yemeni Revolution, and the aim of solidifying national unity.”38 It creates concomitant rights to “Freedom of knowledge, thought, the press, personal expression, communication and access to information” for every citizen.39 Local journalists must be Yemeni citizens and must obtain Press Cards from the Ministry of Information.40 Foreign journalists must be accredited to receive Press Cards.41 Press Cards can be revoked by the Ministry of Information without any reason given, and this revocation requires the former holder to leave Yemen unless they have an independent reason for residency.42

Journalists must “respect the objectives and aims of the Yemeni Revolution and the provisions of the Constitution, and shall not contravene this law.”43 They are required to “respect the sovereignty and independence of the country, the creed, religious law, ethics and traditions of the Yemeni people” and must not “engage in [any] activity which endangers the security of the country.”44 Newspapers and magazines need a license from the Ministry of Information to publish.45 Publications of “political parties, popular organizations, and ministries, or government authorities” do not require licenses. Setting up a printing press, though, requires a license from the Ministry of Culture.46 The Minister of Information can prevent the distribution of foreign publications that contravene the law.47

In June 2004, President Salih ordered the removal of a clause in the Press Law allowing the imprisonment of journalists for certain offenses. However, a draft for a new Press Law put forward this year by the Ministry of Information would increase press restrictions in other ways, forbidding journalists from “criticis[ing] the head of the state” or “publishing or exchanging anything that directly and personally prejudices monarchs and heads of brotherly and friendly states.”48 The law as originally drafted would also impose even higher startup costs on new publications, including Web sites.49 In September 2005, the Parliament approved a modified version of the Press Law to the dismay of Yemeni journalists, some of whom believe that the law will “restrict press freedom and increase limitations on online news services.”50 Under pressure from international media commentators and the Yemeni Press Syndicate, though, the government has continued to revise the draft law.51

Under Yemeni criminal law, “the humiliation of the State, the Cabinet, or parliamentary institutions,” the publication of “false information” that “threatens public order or the public interest,” and “false stories intended to damage Arab and friendly countries or their relations” with the state can result in fines or jail terms of up to five years.52 The penal code also allows for the death penalty in cases where information related to state secrets or national security is published.53 Reports suggest that these regulations may lead journalists to self-censor.

The state’s Ministry of Information controls: the national news agency Saba; Yemen’s four daily newspapers, al-Thawra, al-Jumhuriyya, 14 Uktubar, al-Sharara; and all television and radio outlets through the Public Corporation for Radio and Television (PCRT).54 The Ministry of Information may shut down publications without notice or reason, particularly publications it deems too critical of the government.55 News broadcasts of information critical of the government are rarely permitted.56 The Ministry of the Interior controls access to information regarding security-related issues and has filed lawsuits against journalists for allegedly misusing anonymous sources in covering security issues.57 Journalists report being threatened by security officials who seek to influence their reporting, and must “consult” with the Ministry of Defense before reporting on information related to Yemen’s armed forces.58 The Ministry of Telecommunications owns YemenNet outright and strictly controls TeleYemen,59 which is owned by another government entity, the Public Telecommunication Corporation, and run by FranceTelecom SA.60 According to one source, the Ministry of Culture prohibits and monitors Web sites as well.61

2. Internet Access Regulation
The state does not formally restrict Internet access, but many Yemenis claim the costs of Internet access are “prohibitively high.”62 Standard analog dial-up service from TeleYemen costs 3,000 Yemen rials (U.S.$16.48) for installation, and a maximum per-minute charge of five rials (U.S.$0.027), with a minimum monthly charge of 300 rials (U.S.$1.65). (Note that per capita GDP in Yemen is approximately U.S.$800 a year, and the state is one of the world’s least-developed economically.63) Dial-up service from YemenNet costs 5,000 rials (U.S.$27.47) for installation, with a per-minute charge of one rial (U.S.$0.0055) and no monthly fee. High-speed services are also available, but are even more expensive.64

3. Internet Content Regulation
Yemen’s Internet content regulation occurs primarily at the level of the ISP. Yemen does not have a specific Internet law or legislation setting forth formal content restrictions, nor is there a record of the state censoring or pursuing criminal charges against specific Internet users or content providers. Yemen has invoked security in exercising general media censorship, but there are no published examples of Yemen using security to justify Internet censorship.

At the ISP level, for example, TeleYemen’s rules include broad prohibitions on content. TeleYemen bans anything that is: deemed obscene; “offensive on moral, religious, communal, or political grounds”; “inconsistent with the provisions of the Holy Qoran, the Prophet Mohamed’s Traditions and the Islamic jurisdiction”; defamatory, “caus[ing] disturbance of security, National Unity, instability, call[ing] for or encourag[ing] such illegal acts in the country”; or “offensive to Yemen, its history, culture and relationship with any of the world countries.”65 TeleYemen filters content that it believes falls within this description with the commercial product Websense.

Human rights organizations and journalists claim that Internet censorship is widespread in Yemen and is impeding the growth of Internet usage. Restrictions on Internet usage can be informal as well as formal. Internet cafés play an important role in access for many Yemenis, since Internet service at home is cost-prohibitive. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information reports that Yemen recently ordered Internet cafés to remove the barriers between computer stations in the cafés, thus eliminating users’ privacy and causing a decline in the cafés’ usage and profitability. The report also claims that the state imposes broad censorship on political and cultural Web sites under the guise of preserving “morality.”66

Yemen has been a focus of NGO efforts to oppose censorship on the Internet. Likewise, Omani journalist Mohamed Al-Yahyai recently founded the Gulf Press Freedom Center67 to address efforts by several Middle Eastern states, including Yemen, to “impede access to the Internet by allowing only government-controlled companies to provide services, limiting access to computer servers, keeping costs of access high, arresting and questioning Internet users who challenge national leadership, and censoring content.”68

Yemen participated in the first meeting of the United Nations-led World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in 2003. The WSIS process resulted in the creation of a declaration of principles that establishes the participants’ commitment to open access to information technology for their citizens and recognizes the critical role such technology and access play in development.69 However, the summit accords have no regulatory force, are relatively vague, and do not necessarily reflect the participants’ actual policies for information technology and the Internet.70

3. TESTING METHODOLOGY

A. Methods
ONI performs technical testing across multiple levels of access at multiple time intervals in a number of regions around the world. The team analyzes results within the contextual framework of the target state’s filtering technology, law, and regulations. To obtain meaningful, accurate results we seek to:

generate lists of domain names and URLs that have been or are likely to be blocked, based upon background research into relevant social and political issues in Yemen;
enumerate ISPs and national routing topography;
determine the type, location, and behavior of the filtering technology;
deploy network interrogation and enumeration software at multiple access points; and
conduct a thorough statistical analysis of results.
Determining which URLs to test is a vital component of our research, as it reveals the filtering system’s technical capacity and content areas subject to blocking. ONI employs three types of lists:

a list of “high impact” sites reported to be blocked or likely to be blocked in the state due to their content (for example, political opposition);
a “global list” containing a control list of manually categorized Web sites reflecting a range of Internet content (for example, news and hacking sites), intended in part to enable comparisons across multiple states; and
a multilingual list of significant key words used to generate significantly larger lists through search engine queries.
To explore Internet filtering, we deploy network interrogation devices and applications, which perform the censorship enumeration, at various Internet access levels. These tools download the ONI testing lists and check whether specific URLs and domains are accessible from that point on the network. Interrogation devices are designed to run inside a state (i.e., behind its firewall) to perform specific, sensitive functions with varying degrees of stealth. Similarly, ONI distributes interrogation applications to trusted volunteers who run the software inside the state. For testing, depending upon a series of local factors, ONI obtains network access at multiple levels through a combination of:

Proxy servers,
Long distance dial-up,
Distributed applications, and
Dedicated servers.
During initial testing, we use remote computers located in states that filter. These remote computers are located behind the state’s firewalls yet allow access to clients connecting from the wider Internet. We attempt to access the URL and domain name lists through these computers to reveal what content is filtered, and how consistently it is blocked. The ONI team also tests these lists from control locations in non-filtered countries. The testing system flags all URLs and domains that are accessible from the control location, but inaccessible from ones inside the target state, as potentially blocked.

B. Results Analysis
We carefully analyze the data obtained from testing to document the nature of filtered content, to explore the technical capabilities of the target state, and to determine areas that require in-depth study during testing from inside the state’s firewall. In particular, ONI examines the response received over HTTP when attempting to access filtered content. As discussed, when content is filtered, users often receive a “block page” � a Web page with text indicating that the requested content cannot be accessed. In other cases, filtering can be less obvious or transparent, appearing to be network errors, redirections, or lengthy timeouts rather than deliberate blocking. We analyze HTTP headers � text sent from the Web server to the browser � to derive information about both the server and the requested page. This information is generally hidden from the end user. However, these headers can indicate whether content was successfully accessed or was inaccessible. If an error occurs, the HTTP protocol returns codes that indicate the type of error in the header. Thus, by analyzing the headers captured during testing, we seek to distinguish between errors caused by Internet filtering and more mundane, unintentional network connection errors.

We classify results in one of four categories:

URL was accessible both through the local connection and the remote computer (not filtered);
URL was accessible through the local connection but inaccessible through the remote computer, which returned a different HTTP response code (possibly filtered);
URL was accessible through the local connection but inaccessible through the remote computer due to a network connection error (possibly filtered, but not definitive); or
URL was accessible through the local connection but inaccessible through the remote computer; the remote computer returned a block page (filtered).
If a URL is inaccessible through both the local connection and the remote computer, we consider it “dead” and remove it from the results. This result indicates that the URL’s content was not available to Internet users generally at the time of our testing, making the URL irrelevant for our testing.

The ONI team analyzes blocked, unblocked, and uncertain URLs both at an aggregate level (to estimate the overall level of filtering) and at a category level (to indicate what types of content the state seeks to control). We publish state-specific studies, such as this one on Yemen, that provide background on a state’s political and legal system, lists of tested sites, and analysis of results to reveal and analyze, to the greatest extent we can given the data we are able to collect, what information a state blocks and how it does so.

C. Methods Specific to Yemen
We performed two sets of tests for both the TeleYemen/YNET and YemenNet networks: initial proxy tests involving remote access of computers on the two networks, and subsequent in-country testing. The proxy tests occurred in October and December 2004 and the in-country testing was performed in September 2005. In general, ONI has found in-country testing to be more accurate than proxy testing, and this report thus focuses on the in-country results. However, a comparison of the proxy and in-country results yielded a strong correlation, with 94% of sites tested via both methods producing identical results. As the sites that produced divergent results were heavily clustered in specific content areas, we are confident that the minor variances represent changes in the filtering policies of the respective networks and present this longitudinal analysis below.

D. Topics Tested
Our testing included our global lists, designed to run in every country in which ONI tests, a “high impact” list of sites potentially sensitive to the Yemeni state, and sites contained on results lists for keyword searches.71 Topics to which the Yemeni state has demonstrated sensitivity include pornography, sexual content, gambling, security and terrorism issues, political dissent, and material critical of Islam or attempting to convert Muslims to other faiths.72

4. RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

A. Summary
ONI ran tests via proxy server in 2004 and through in-country testing in 2005 and 2006 on Yemen’s two ISPs, TeleYemen/YNET and YemenNet. Our results indicate that filtering increased on both providers in Yemen from 2004 to 2005; TeleYemen increased blocking from 10% of ONI’s global list to 12%, and YemenNet from 6% to 14%. Both ISPs block nearly all pornographic material, a considerable amount of sexually-themed content, and a number of well-known proxy and filtering circumvention sites. In addition, TeleYemen increased its blocking of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender sites during the two years, and YemenNet commenced blocking sites on this topic that focus on the Middle East. TeleYemen also blocks any URL with the string “sex” in it; the ISP also filters religious conversion sites and a limited number of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and circumvention sites. YemenNet increased its blocking of sexual material, gambling sites, and illegal drugs content from 2004 to 2005, and filters a limited number of VoIP sites. Both ISPs increased filtering of proxy services to reduce users’ ability to access prohibited content, such as pornography, through such sites. Neither provider blocked any politically-related sites, or any sensitive sites on our high-impact list.

1. YemenNet
We tested 1,653 unique URLs on the TeleYemen/YNET network, and found 160 blocked (10%). The bulk of TeleYemen’s filtering focused on sexually-themed material and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) content. The ISP also attempts to filter sites discussing the conversion of Muslims to other religions. Despite comprehensive research and testing, we found no evidence of any politically-focused blocking (for example, we found no filtering of opposition party Web sites, newspapers typically critical of the government, or international media sites). As in most states that employ an extensive filtering regime, we found a wide variety of other content areas with minimal blocking. The limited blocking in these content areas may be intentional, or may result either from miscategorization or the classification of a site in multiple categories (for example, a sexually explicit humor site could be classified based on humor or based on sexual content). ONI believes that TeleYemen employs limited, but intentional, blocking of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony sites and sites facilitating circumvention of filtering.

Our testing indicated that TeleYemen blocks sites classified by Websense into the categories “Adult Content,” “Lingerie and Swimsuit,” “Nudity,” “Sex Education,” and “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest.”73 Overall, we believe TeleYemen has activated Websense’s parent category “Adult Material” in an effort to block sexually explicit content as comprehensively as possible. We also found several blocked sites for which Websense reported a category of “User-Defined.” This category enables a filtering entity, such as the Yemeni state, to compile and block sites based on its own criteria. The sites included by TeleYemen in the “User-Defined” category primarily deal with religion and the religious conversion of Muslims. Interestingly, all URLs that included the string “sex” were blocked by TeleYemen, including those containing content otherwise not targeted for filtering (for example, a site presenting historical, scriptural, and medical testimony in support of the proposition that “homo [sic] sex is sin”74).

In our 2004 proxy results, we found minimal filtering of GLBT content. However, our 2005 in-country results found widespread blocking within this category, leading us to conclude that TeleYemen increased dramatically its filtering of gay and lesbian-related content during the intervening period, and that the ISP activated the relevant Websense category after we concluded our 2004 testing.

2. TeleYemen/YNET
We tested 3,589 unique URLs on the YemenNet network and found 202 blocked (6%). Like TeleYemen, YemenNet employs Websense to filter sexually-themed material. In contrast to TeleYemen, however, YemenNet also heavily filters gambling and illegal drugs sites, and only blocks a minimum of GLBT content (mostly sites aimed at individuals living in the Middle East). Furthermore, we found no blocking by YemenNet of any religious sites. We found no politically-oriented blocking on YemenNet, despite extensive testing of sites and search results. YemenNet demonstrated scattered blocking in a number of content areas, although to a lower degree than with TeleYemen. Our testing again revealed what appears to be limited intentional blocking of VoIP sites.

ONI’s results indicate that YemenNet blocks sites classified by Websense into the categories “Adult Content,” “Lingerie and Swimsuit,” “Nudity,” “Sex Education” (again, most likely utilizing the “Adult Material” parent category), “Marijuana,” “Abused Drugs,” and “Gambling”.75

We found significant changes in content filtering between our 2004 and 2005 testing. While the absolute number of tested sites whose accessibility changed was small, these results demonstrate a clear change in policy. YemenNet did not filter any drug-related content in 2004, but engaged in extensive filtering of such material in 2005. In 2004, YemenNet filtered substantially less of the pornographic sites we tested than TeleYemen, and did not filter any content in related categories frequently affected by overblocking (such as lingerie, swimwear, and sex education sites). In 2005, YemenNet filtered the same number of pornographic sites as TeleYemen and also blocked sites in these related categories, demonstrating that comprehensive category filtering (e.g., blocking all or most porn sites) requires heavy filtering within related categories that may not be targeted for filtering (e.g., sex education sites). YemenNet also dramatically increased its filtering of gambling sites, and began to block Middle East-specific GLBT sites.

The discrepancies between TeleYemen and YemenNet’s filtering criteria are puzzling, given the high degree of state involvement in the operation of both ISPs. While both ISPs heavily block adult content, it is not clear why only YemenNet targets drugs and gambling sites or why only TeleYemen comprehensively blocks GLBT sites. The most likely explanation for the disparate policies is simply that the filtering policies of each ISP were defined independently; this is plausible since YemenNet began operations much more recently. Hence, the two providers may be attempting to filter roughly equivalent content with different degrees of success.

B. Global List Results
We tested two global lists in Yemen: our original list of 786 sites in 31 categories, and our updated list of 459 sites in 28 categories.76 Of the sites that were either clearly blocked or clearly accessible during our testing, 13% were inaccessible on YemenNet (160 sites) and 11% were inaccessible on TeleYemen/YNET (133 sites).77

1. TeleYemen
TeleYemen filtered heavily the following categories on our global list: pornography (92% of sites tested), provocative attire (77%), gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer issues (64%), and sex education (48%). Our testing revealed moderate to light filtering in the dating (17%), humor (17%), medical (11%), blogging domains (11%), religious conversion (10%), anonymizers (9%), free Web space (9%), groups (8%), filtering sites (6%), gambling (5%), alcohol (5%), hate speech (4%), VoIP (3%), and P2P (3%) categories. A number of the individual sites blocked in each category contain content that overlaps with heavily filtered subjects (such as www.breastenlargementmagazine.com in the medical category) or has been classified as adult content by Websense (such as thumbs.globalnews.it in the groups category). ONI believes this overlap explains the blocking within the dating, humor, medical, alcohol, and hate speech categories. For categories such as religious conversion, anonymizers, and VoIP, the small-scale filtering indicates limited intentional efforts; these types of sites are less likely to be mistakenly categorized by commercial filtering software such as Websense. In the religious conversion category, there is particular focus on blocking sites in Arabic and those critical of Islam. The VoIP blocking pattern was curious; overall (including both global lists and ONI’s Websense category testing), we located two blocked sites (www.dialpad.com and www.net2phone.com), but were able to access better-known VoIP sites such as www.skype.com. According to Alexa, www.skype.com ranked 237 of all Web sites for traffic volume, while www.net2phone.com ranked 17,396 and www.dialpad.com came in at 50,474.78

2. YemenNet
YemenNet filtered heavily the following categories: pornography (92% of sites tested), gambling (89%), provocative attire (81%), drugs (71%), and sex education (55%). We found moderate to light filtering in the dating (17%), humor (16%), medical (8%), groups (8%), VoIP (7%), gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer issues (5%), alcohol (5%), hate speech (4%), and P2P (3%) categories. As with TeleYemen, when we reviewed the individual sites in these categories, we found that blocking within dating, humor, medical, groups, alcohol, and hate speech categories was most likely a by-product of blocking the heavily-filtered categories. The blocked sites within the GLBT category were those focused on the Middle East: www.gayegypt.com (which contains a “gay Yemen” page) and www.al-fatiha.net. Similar to TeleYemen, YemenNet blocked several less-visible VoIP sites, although the majority of such sites, including www.skype.com, were accessible.

C. Yemen-Specific Results
To investigate Internet filtering on topics sensitive to the Yemeni state, we tested three additional lists: a short, high-impact list, a list of the top 100 sites generated by 11 different keyword searches of the Google search engine in both English and Arabic, and a list of proxy server or circumvention sites. ONI tested the high-impact and proxy lists on both networks, and tested the keyword list only on YemenNet. We also tested a list of sites classified in selected Websense categories to determine which of these categories each ISP chose to filter.

1. High-Impact List
Using ONI’s research on sensitive topics, we compiled a list of 28 Web sites providing content in English or Arabic on these topics to probe whether they were accessible from within Yemen. None of the sites were blocked � all were accessible from both TeleYemen and YemenNet. The sites included those of an opposition newspaper (www.al-shoura.net), a non-governmental organization created to monitor human rights abuses in Yemen (www.hoodonline.org), the Arab Press Freedom Watch (www.apfw.org), and the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (www.hrinfo.net).79

2. Keyword List
Our keyword list also probed politically sensitive subjects. Using Google, we conducted keyword searches in both English and Arabic and attempted to access the top 100 results for each keyword. YemenNet did not filter any political sites in either language, but did block a small number of sites related to GLBT themes.

We conducted keyword searches on the following political topics: Al-Houthi (a Yemeni imam who fought the government’s pro-American policies and was killed), Islamic Army of Aden (a radical Islamic organization seeking the overthrow of the Yemeni government), Yemen Times (an anti-government newspaper), USS Cole (an American naval vessel bombed in Aden, Yemen), Al-Shoura (another opposition newspaper), Al-Thawri (the newspaper of the Yemeni Socialist Party), and Islamic Jihad. Neither ISP blocked a single site responding to these keyword searches, which indicates strongly that Yemen’s filtering policy is not intended to shape the contours of domestic political debate.

We also tested the results for English and Arabic searches for the terms “gay” and “lesbian”. For “gay,” 10% of the top 100 English language results and 1% of the top 100 Arabic results were filtered. For “lesbian,” 1% of the top 100 English language results and 2% of the top 100 Arabic results were filtered. All of the filtered sites for these keywords were classified by Websense as sexually-themed content (e.g., www.gayuniverse.com, classified by Websense as “Adult Content”, or www.androphile.com, classified as “Nudity”). These results were consistent with our global list testing, which found that YemenNet conducted minimal filtering on GLBT topics.

3. Proxy / Circumvention Sites
Sources in Yemen indicated that the state’s ISPs have, in the last six months, increased their efforts to prevent users from bypassing the filtering system via sites that offer open proxy servers or other techniques to circumvent blocking. To test these reports, an ONI volunteer attempted to access 15 of the most popular proxy sites (as listed by Google’s Directory).81 All 15 sites were blocked by both TeleYemen/YNET and YemenNet.82 These services include the Anonymizer service83 and the JAP software program84; both are commonly used in the region to evade filtering. We conclude that both ISPs attempt to enforce filtering by blocking users from sites that enable them to bypass these restrictions, and that filtering of this type of content has increased in the past six months.

4. Websense Categories
We also tested ONI’s list of 351 URLs classified by Websense into 65 categories to determine which Websense categories TeleYemen and YemenNet selected to block. While some of these categories contain only a limited number of sites, we compare results from this list with our global list testing to obtain a robust picture of what content was targeted for filtering, and what level of success was achieved.

We report results for categories of interest below; a complete list of results is available at Appendix 4. (In a few cases, the percentage of sites blocked was not either 0% or 100%. This could occur for one of three reasons: 1) discrepancies in site classification between our list and the list in use by the ISP at the time of testing, 2) manual targeting of the site by the ISP, or 3) multiple categorization of a particular site.)

a. TeleYemen/YNET
TeleYemen comprehensively blocked all of the sexually-themed content categories we tested, as well as the “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest” category. The disparate blocking in the Internet Telephony (i.e., VoIP) category is similar to the results from our global list testing, suggesting that the Yemeni state or TeleYemen itself deliberately targets a limited number of these sites. Further research is necessary to understand the other categories with partial blocking; this filtering may simply indicate over-blocking that often accompanies concerted attempts to filter certain Internet content comprehensively.

Figure 1 – Websense Category Blocking by TeleYemen

b. YemenNet
ONI’s testing found comprehensive blocking of all sexually-themed content categories, as well as those relating to illegal drugs and gambling. Although a single gambling site was accessible, the high level of blocking within this category from our global list testing confirms that YemenNet targets this content. The Internet Telephony (VoIP) category reveals a level of blocking consistent with manual targeting rather than activation of this Websense category. Interestingly, YemenNet had far fewer categories with low levels of filtering than TeleYemen did. Further research is required to investigate why YemenNet appears to have less overblocking.

Figure 2 – Websense Category Blocking by YemenNet

D. Longitudinal Testing Results
We compared the results from our 2004 proxy testing with the 2005 in-country results to examine how Yemen changed its filtering policies in the intervening period. Change was minimal: nearly all sites (94%) tested in both 2004 and 2005 yielded the same result, with 96% of the 2005 TeleYemen/YNET results matching those from 2004, and 92% for YemenNet. There are three possible explanations why sites might have divergent results: the proxy testing yielded inaccurate results, the ISP changed its filtering policy, or Websense changed the site’s categorization from a non-activated category to an activated one (i.e., one selected for filtering) or vice versa. We conclude that our proxy testing was extremely accurate given the high degree of overlap from the two methods, and that 87% of the sites with divergent results were in a limited number of content areas. For example, YemenNet blocked 20 illegal drug sites in 2005, but filtered none of these sites in 2004. We believe that the remainder of the difference between ONI’s 2004 and 2005 results were caused by changes in Websense’s categorization.

1. TeleYemen/YNET
The chart below presents categories from our global list where TeleYemen’s block rate changed between 2004 and 2005. The full results, including the URLs of all sites whose results changed, are available in Appendix 6.

Figure 3 – Global List Categories With Blocking Changes 2004-2005 on TeleYemen

We found a modest increase in the absolute amount of blocking of the global list sites, from 10% to 12%, from 2004 to 2005. This increase resulted almost entirely from a dramatic increase in the blocking of GLBT sites. In 2004, the only GLBT block we detected was a Middle East-specific site (www.gayegypt.com). In 2005, a much wider range of this material was inaccessible within Yemen. Our Websense category testing leads us to conclude that TeleYemen activated the Websense “Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest” at some point between the 2004 and 2005 testing. The change in accessibility of pornographic material is slightly puzzling; it is rare for porn sites to go from blocked to accessible in states that filter this material.

2. YemenNet
The chart below highlights categories of interest from our global list where YemenNet’s block rate changed between 2004 and 2005. The full results, including the URLs of all sites whose results changed, are available in Appendix 7.

Figure 4 – Global List Categories With Blocking Changes 2004-2005 on YemenNet

The overall level of filtering on YemenNet rose dramatically between 2004 and 2005, from 6% to 14%. The majority of the increase stemmed from several apparent policy changes: addition of the blocking of illegal drug-related content, expansion of blocking of sexually-themed content, and improvement in blocking of gambling sites. The increase in pornography filtering appears to result from using Websense to filter provocative attire and sex education sites. ONI’s previous research demonstrates the difficulty commercial filtering software products, such as Websense, have in distinguishing between sexually explicit Web sites and non-explicit sites on sexual topics; a common example is the blocking of sites with information about breast cancer based on an erroneous classification of the content as pornography. The increased effectiveness of pornography blocking from 2004 to 2005 (76% to 92%) appears to reflect a decision to cast a wider net and to accept overblocking that makes some otherwise non-offensive sites unavailable.

The change in the filtering of drug-related content on YemenNet was dramatic, and our Websense testing indicates that YemenNet activated the relevant content category in the period between our tests. Less dramatically, YemenNet increased the effectiveness of its filtering of gambling sites, and began to block a small number of Middle East-focused GLBT sites. Interestingly, YNET moved from filtering only Middle East GLBT sites to much wider blocking of this content at the same time that YemenNet went from not blocking any GLBT content to blocking only Middle East specific GLBT content. This may indicate increased concern by the Yemeni state about this material.

3. Proxy Services
In addition, our testing in January 2006 demonstrates that YemenNet and TeleYemen/YNET have both increased their efforts to block proxy server sites and to prevent users from bypassing the ISPs’ content controls.

5. CONCLUSION

Yemen imposes controls on Internet usage through formal laws regulating what material the press may cover, informal pressures to shape reporting, and filtering software that blocks certain content. The state focuses its Internet filtering efforts most consistently on pornography and related sexually themed content, as well as sites providing proxy servers that bypass filters, but users of the two principal ISPs will find different types of sites unavailable. Yemenis connecting to the Internet via TeleYemen/YNET will be unable to access most gay and lesbian-related content and will have limited access to sites targeting the religious conversion of Muslims, but will have generally unimpeded access to illegal drug and gambling-related sites. Yemenis connecting via YemenNet, however, will find only Middle East-focused gay and lesbian sites unavailable, face no restrictions on religious conversion sites, but be largely unable to get to drug or gambling sites. Users of both networks will likely experience small amounts of the apparently unintended blocking that generally accompanies any wide-spread internet filtering. Despite an extensive search, we found no evidence that the Yemeni state seeks to prevent access to political or media materials online. Thus, while Yemen’s Internet filtering is quite broad in a few areas, the state tends to limit its blocking to these topics. However, the additional restrictions on press freedom proposed by the Ministry of Information in the new draft press law may indicate a shift toward generally more conservative policies.

 

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