Yemeni Citizens Held Without Charge, Tortured
The Yemen Times reported that Yemeni citizens have been kidnapped and tortured by government forces for expressing their opinions or supporting the revolution since it began. Marwan al-Dawsari, the Executive Director of the Organization for Equality (a Yemeni NGO) estimated that there were approximately 3,000 political detainees. Al-Dawsari also claimed that many opposition activists are being held in secret prisons. “Our reports indicate that some have been held for over 18 months without any charges. This is a crime in itself. Those responsible for holding them should be punished to the full extent of the law,” he added.
Meanwhile, the State Department recently hacked al-Qaeda affiliated websites in Yemen. The Hill reports that “after an al-Qaeda group posted photos of coffins draped in American flags on tribal websites, a team of U.S. cyber experts crafted a counter-ad in Arabic that replaced the flags with Yemeni ones to convey that most victims of terrorist attacks are local people.” President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi‘s administration praised the act saying, “We…applaud the efforts of our allies in this field.”
As violence continued across Yemen, anti-American sentiment appeared to be growing alongside an increased number of US drone strikes, according to Iona Craig. Craig reported that in “this month alone about 35 drone strikes are expected.” In response, a “No Drones” campaign was started on Facebook and Twitter last week by activists who led the anti-government campaign to oust President Saleh last year. Additionally, a new documentary entitled “Al Qaeda in Yemen” airs tonight on Frontline.