Yemen : Assassination of human rights organizations

25/11/2009
Alaa Kamal
It is always tense between the Arab countries – all suffering dictatorships - and human rights activists and organizations, especially those working on anti-torture – an official regular practice. Activists aim to orchestrate torturers expose them on all levels, locally and internationally.
Arab States not only violate the activity of these organizations by prohibition and closure of organizations but  in other cases have been dumping some activists behind prison walls.
It is observed recently that those incidents  of violations are the least  severe. Governments will to attempt assault , detain and even threaten the lives of human rights activists that are a  persistent headache to those autocratic regimes.
       In this regard, a few days ago according to Belqueood  and   Marib Press that “Shaqua’eq Alnoaman” Forum for Human Rights in Yemen was raided on 22/11/2009 , where the windows were broken files tampered with and all drawers were broke open.  Majed Almzhadji , forum spokesman , said that that the police was informed and charged no one.
The police made some investigations, but no result were announced yet. Majed added there was nothing missing , only the doors and drawers were broken, but no laptops , cameras or  anything “of value “ was stolen .
The statement added that this is not the first assault incident. On 17/11/2009, the brake wire of Amal Elbasha’s, forum chairwoman, car was deliberately cut. This assault was recorded in the insurance. In addition, Amal was sprayed  in the face with  an unknown substance on university campus. She also receives harassing phone calls from someone claiming to be an official detective.
The statement attributed these incidents and other assaults on other  organizations and staff , to the national shadow report on torture in Yemen submitted to the Convention against Torture of the United Nations in Geneva, in cooperation with the International Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. The United Nations Committee against Torture issued some strong recommendations to the Yemeni government in this regard. The forum held the ministry of interior and  security authorities responsible for the safety of  Amal,  demanding at the same time to  run an investigation about recent assault incidents.
The Forum asserted that it will carry on its  roles and responsibilities of  defending civil and human rights regardless any terrorizing  messages.
    As soon as the news of raiding the forum  spread, civil society organizations launched a solidarity  campaign.
 The Yemeni Women Journalists Club "Mwfye " & the  Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms on the website “Yemeniat”  news & and the Yemeni Organization for Defending rights and democratic freedoms in a statement on the site of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information  and the Women's Forum for Studies and Training (WFRT) issued  a statement denouncing raiding the forum and assaulting  Amal Basha and held the Yemeni authorities responsible for what happened at the  forum, as well as responsibility for the personal safety of the Chairperson.

The Cairo Institute  for Human Rights issued a statement under the title of the "dirty wars against human rights defenders also" strongly condemned the incident stating that: it is believed  in Yemen on a large scale that the National Security Agency is behind these attacks. CIHRS stated that the Yemeni authorities,  if they are willing to acquit such accusations , should take a firm action, to disclose the identity of the doers and bring them to justice.
However, the Yemeni authorities did not start any investigation so far, despite the official report submitted by  the Forum. It  noted that the raiders on the headquarters of the Forum did not steal anything , which confirms that the target of the attack is terrorizing  Yemenis activists. This attack, which targeted the Forum and its leader, is a  serious indication that  the policies of Yemeni authorities turned the country into a war field , not only at  "Saada" in the north, or  the bloody repression of the political move in the south.
 In parallel with the wars of the north and south, the Yemeni regime sparked a third war on the freedom of the press and institutions, independent press, which discloses the crimes committed by the Yemeni regime in the north and south. Consequently press is subject to closure, seizing or prohibition of print  where at least a dozen newspapers are suffering this measures . As well  as  storming of some press institutions  and the siege and burning of some trucks, in addition to  bringing a number of journalists to justice, some of them received  prison punishments and additional temporary or permanent prevention  from practicing the profession! Some journalist were enforced to disappear for several months and there is no news about them.
Also been a journalist for the disappearance for several months, his fate was not known until now.
Human rights defenders who are monitoring and documenting abuses in the war of Saada, and in the south are  increasingly turning into targets of abduction and enforced disappearance, torture and prolonged arbitrary detention, without charge or trial.
 Finally, the Cairo Institute for the Study of Human Rights, declared its solidarity with the forum and its leader, Amal ElBasha, and with  courageous Yemeni human rights institutions and Yemeni journalists, who bravely disclose serious violations, witnessed on the Yemeni  land.
CIHRS stresses on  the need for all efforts of various international and regional human rights bodies, to work together  in order to put an end to the growing attack on human rights defenders in Yemen, and face the Yemeni authorities  schemes to silence the voices of the victims of human rights violations and their advocates, journalists and lawyers, in a regime addicted to  repression and military solutions to  maintain its survival. "