Protesters Killed in Yemen on Anniversary of Election
Yemeni security forces fired at protesters on Thursday, killing at least four and wounding several others. The protesters were calling for Southern independence and were holding a counter-protest to the many supporters that had gathered to celebrate the anniversary of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi‘s election. Security officials claimed that two policemen were wounded by snipers who were overlooking the protest, and BBC reports that nearly 30 protesters were injured in the violence.
On the eve of the anniversary, the government arrested Southern Movement leaders in an attempt to stop them from organizing protests. Specifically, Qassem Askar, a leader of the Southern Movement’s hard-line faction, and Hussein bin Shouaib, a southern cleric, were arrested. In response, Ann Murry, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa stated, “The Southern Movement and its followers have a right to protest peacefully, and the Yemeni authorities must allow them this right.”
In response to the arrests, three members of the National Dialogue’s Technical Committee withdrew, said National Dialogue Secretary General Ahmed Awadh Mubark. Their withdrawal halted a Dialogue meeting Wednesday which was supposed to discuss the Dialogue’s participant lists submitted by the involved political parties. The Chairman of the Committee Dr. Abdulkarim Al-Eryani has suspended all future meetings until the issue is resolved and will bring the grievances of the members to President Hadi.
Meanwhile, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh who was ousted by protesters in 2011, opened a museum dedicated to himself. “Those who want to reminisce about three decades of authoritarianism will soon be able to visit the museum, whose main entrance is fronted by an enormous portrait of the man himself,” reports The Independent. The museum will include Saleh’s glasses, prayer rug and the now-charred pair of pants he was wearing during a 2011 assassination attempt, among other items. Saleh toured the recently-completed museum and praised its “class and elegance.”