Yemen: Hundreds Report Extrajudicial Arrests
Yemen’s national organization for defending rights and freedoms, HOOD, reported ”about 207 complaints of detentions beyond the legal limits and recorded 163 extrajudicial arrests including 93 by the security authorities, mostly in the capital Sanaa, 37 by military units and 77 by powerful people,” in the first half of 2012 alone. HOOD called on the Yemen’s House of Representatives to reconsider its laws to limit extrajudicial arrests, enforced disappearances, and torture. According to the reports the organization gathered through the first half of the year, 100 complaints were made against government authorities and others is power.
However, Minister of Legal Affairs Mohammad Al-Mikhlafi said Tuesday that he expects President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi to approve a transnational justice law in September intended to uncover violations of human rights and create a national registration of violations. Al-Mikhlafi further said that the law will compensate victims and their relatives, and emphasized that it will “help to pave the road to the national dialogue conference.”
Meanwhile, Sudarsan Raghavan argued that for many Yemenis the protests that ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh have not ended. Many protesters still occupy Change Square, the center of last year’s uprising. “We didn’t come here to fight against one person,” said Ibrahim al-Khatab, a student who has lived in his tent for nearly 17 months. “The goals of the revolution have not all been achieved.” For these Yemenis, many issues still need to be addressed, such as corruption, political exclusion, and the continued presence of the Saleh family in positions of power.
Elsewhere, the governor of Hajja, Ali al-Qaisi, reported that a ceasefire has been reached between the Houthi and tribes of Hajja after two women were killed by Houthi fighters. Local sources said that the Houthi group, who control some parts of Saada, Amran, al-Jawf and Hajja, sent reinforcements to the al-Shahild district of Hajja after tensions escalated. However, al-Qaisi said that local authorities were able to mediate between both sides. Yemeni activists have accused the Houthi group of torture, arbitrary arrests and executions, and call for an independent committee to investigate the charges.