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Interrogating Criminal Intelligence in Sana’a
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Frenchman’s Yemeni killer acted for ‘personal’ reasons NY Staff A young security guard who shot dead a Frenchman in Yemen this week appears to have acted for personal and criminal reasons, the Yemeni defence ministry said on Friday. Jacques Spagnolo, a contractor working for Austrian energy group OMV, was shot at the company’s compound in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday, the same day a British embassy car was targeted by a rocket attack that wounded one person. “It is probable that the murder of the Frenchman ... was for personal reasons and that it was of a criminal nature,” the ministry said on its website, without elaborating. “These conclusions are preliminary, as the inquest against security guard Hisham Mohammed Assem, 19, is still in its early stages,” the statement added. A 65-year-old Scot, said to be OMV’s security chief, was
also wounded in the attack, the statement said. On Wednesday, “the armed guard opened fire on the director, crying Allahu Akbar (God is greatest),” a security official said. OMV confirmed that a French contractor who was working for the company as a procurement officer died in hospital. It added that a British national, described as an expert who worked at the company’s branch office, was wounded in the attack. At the time, the Austrian firm said it saw “no political background for the action taken by the Yemeni security guard.” The man, who was guarding the company’s Yemen headquarters in Haddah, on the outskirts of Sanaa, was disarmed and arrested. The Austrian group has had a sizeable presence in Yemen
since it acquired the German firm Preussag Energie in 2003, with three large exploration and production licences and daily oil output of around 6,500 barrels per day. In July, Al-Qaeda militants launched an attack near one of the OMV-operated oil fields in the southeastern Shabwa province, which killed six soldiers and two jihadists. Yemeni agent killed, three people wounded in attacks A Yemeni intelligence officer has been killed and two policemen and a detained suspect wounded in separate attacks in the south, military and security sources said on Saturday. Abdul Aziz Abdullah Bashraheel was shot dead on Friday by two masked gunmen on a motorcycle in Foha, west of Mukalla, capital of Hadramawt province, a security official said. Continued on ( 3 )
British Diplomatic Vehicle Ambushed Wednesday NY Staff The British ambassador to Yemen said on Thursday the embassy car attacked in Sana’a a day earlier was probably targeted because it was a diplomatic vehicle. The attack, which occurred at approximately 8.15am on Wednesday morning wounded is reported to have wounded an embassy staffer inside the car and left at least two bystanders hurt. The vehicle was carrying Britain’s Deputy Head of Mission, Fiona Gibb. However Tim Torlot, the outgoing ambassador, told BBC radio’s “Today” program it’s “impossible to say” whether the car was attacked because it was British, but it may have been recognized as belonging to diplomats. The vehicle had been on its way to the embassy when it was attacked, the British Foreign Office said. The site of the attack, which occurred 3km away from the British embassy, near a turn off from Khawlan street is a steep ‘bottleneck’ for internationals going to embassies or hotels in Sana’a.
“A number of diplomatic vehicles pass along the road where we were driving yesterday on their way to work,” Torlot said. “They tend to be American and British diplomats because of where our embassies are. But it’s impossible to say at this stage.” Torlot’s wounded colleague is now in a Sanaa hospital with blast injuries on his side and back and damage to his ear, he said. The staff member was expected to recover and leave hospital later Thursday, he said. British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, and the U.S. Embassy in Yemen all condemned the attack. There was early speculation that it was a mortar round, but eyewitnesses and security officials at the scene of the attack said they believed it was a rocket attack, based on rocket fragments they saw at the scene. “The RPG missed the car, but when it hit the ground some shrapnel hit a woman in the head,” said an eyewitness. “She was with a child and they were both taken to the hospital. After
the explosion the car veered off to the side,” he added. “The explosion shattered windows and everyone came out their houses to the streets,” said another eyewitness. Officials were quick to announce that the attack “bore all the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda.” However, as of yet, no group – extremist or otherwise – is reported to have claimed responsibility for the attack. Although AQAP have recently claimed responsibility for the ambush on September 25th in Sana’a which targeted a bus carrying political security officers. AQAP are reported to have posted on Islamist websites that “[A] mujahideen brigade in Sana’a attacked a bus ... which resulted in the death of 14 intelligence officers belonging to a counter-terrorism unit.” “These officers had just completed an anti-terrorism course held under American supervision,” the statement added. Four suspects thought to have been involved in the September ambush have been arrested.
Police and security forces rush to the scene after the grenade attack on the British diplomatic car on Wednesday morning.
Yemeni agent killed, three people wounded in attacks NY Staff A Yemeni intelligence officer has been killed and two policemen and a detained suspect wounded in separate attacks in the south, military and security sources said on Saturday. Abdul Aziz Abdullah Bashraheel was shot dead on Friday by two masked gunmen on a motorcycle in Foha, west of Mukalla, capital of Hadramawt province, a security official said. He was with members of his family outside a store when he was attacked by the gunmen, who fled afterwards. In Abyan province further west, a police car was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, also on Friday. Two policemen were wounded, as well as a man whom they had arrested on criminal charges and who suffered serious injuries. The suspect, Mohammed al-Jaadani, had been arrested in the city of Loder, which was the site of clashes between the army and suspected Al-Qaeda militants in August that killed 33 people. Loder is also a focal point of activity by the Southern Movement, a coalition of groups demanding either independence or autonomy for the south.
Saleh confirms Yemen’s solidarity with Sudan President Ali Abdullah Saleh confirmed yesterday Yemen’s solidarity with Sudan’s stability, sovereignty and unity. This came during his meeting with the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Sirt city, Libya. The two leaders discussed issues listed in the agenda of the Arab summit, currently held in Sirt, as well as the bilateral relations and areas of joint cooperation between the two
brotherly countries and means of boosting them to serve interests of the two countries’ peoples. Al-Bashir briefed Saleh on the developments of situation in Sudan, including the situation in Darfur and South Sudan. President Saleh confirmed Yemen’s solidarity with Sudan’s stability, sovereignty and unity.
Yemen to recruit police dogs for Gulf 20 By NY Staff Yemen is considering purchasing police dogs instead of renting a cruise ship, as was published in National Yemen (issue 11) due to the high cost of the ship which rented for $70,000 US per day. So the government decided that instead of housing the visiting teams on a cruise ship that would facilitate strong security measures, it would house the teams at various locations around Aden and Abyan, but would use police dogs to provide the necessary security. The dogs are trained to sniff out any explosive devices and would be posted at checkpoints, entrances to Aden and Abyan cities, and in the sports stadiums. The government has
budgeted $20 million US to purchase these dogs. These dogs will join a complement of 30,000 soldiers from the Special Republic Commanders unit. These measures have been taken to assure visitors that Yemen is capable and committed to providing the necessary security. The UAE delegation has been particularly reticent. One proposal on the table to allay the UAE team’s security concerns is that the team would play its games in Aden, but would stay in Sana’a, being ferried between the cities by Felix Airways. The Gulf 20 football tournament is scheduled to begin in late December.
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No retreat, no surrender
Fakhri al-Arashi Publisher & Chief Editor
People across Yemen are deeply concerned by the terrorist attacks that took place last week. As they realize that such actions will have major impact on their businesses and livelihoods and will undoubtedly affect the economy in many ways. They realize that Yemen is no longer an isolated country and that now, especially under the microscope of the international community, this reflects very poorly on the country. Last week’s attacks on the British Deputy Head of Mission on Khawlan Street and the shooting of an OMV employee by a Yemeni security guard (employed by Al Kown Security) has hurt Yemen’s reputation and left a deeply negative impression among expatriate workers here in the country, who are growing increasingly skeptical of the security situation, and find it harder to trust the private firms that they hire to provide that security.
It is clear that Al Qaeda is attempting to erode the trust and cooperation that has developed between Yemen and the West, using any means necessary; they are not content to stage attacks against Yemen’s security forces, but as we have seen time and time again, have no compunction against targeting innocent civilians. If we look back on Al Qaeda’s history of activity in Yemen, from its sinking of the Lundberg oil tanker at Nexen’s export terminal, to its bombing of Safer’s pipelines, and the killing of Korean oil company KNOC’s workers, it is clear that it is trying to isolate Yemen by chilling investment in industry and infrastructure, keeping the economy small, and the people poor, and therefore easier to manipulate. But we know that this cowardly act will do nothing to slow the growth of OMV, the fastestgrowing oil company in Yemen, nor will it affect the people of France and their commitment to friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The enemies of success, prosperity, investment and development are the enemies of Yemen, because these are the principles that Yemen is committed to with help from its partners in the West. The more that Al Qaeda, or any other extremist entity, tries to harm this relationship, the stronger that relationship becomes; their actions only serve to deepen our resolve to fight them and their backward ideas.
HOOD’s Open Letter to the Public Prosecutor By Mousa Namrani HOOD, a Yemeni human rights group, forwarded an open letter to Public Prosecutor Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Al-Olofi, in regards to receiving a complaint from the families of the prisoners Bassam Naser AlMarwalah, Abdu Mohammed Fakhr-Addin, Ahmed Ali AlSaye’id, Haytham Al-Ashwal and Fuad Naser Al-Madh’ee. The families complained that the Political Security have arrested them while they were going out of the Criminal Court after an altercation between one of the detainees and the security guards. The Political Security refused to disclose any information about the detainees’ fate or their whereabouts until this moment. This violates article (48) of the constitution which bounds the State to protect the freedom of citizens and preserve their dignity. Such an action also violates articles (73,72,16,13,11,9,7,6,4,3) of the Punitive Procedures Law and violates the international agreements and conventions which the Republic of Yemen has signed agreements in. The crime of restricting such freedom is punishable by imprisonment of no more than five years according to article (246) of the Crime & Penalties Law. Therefore, HOOD requested the Public Prosecutor to assign
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the prosecution to pay a visit to the headquarters of the Political Security and investigate the incident, and to either release the detainees or refer them to the Public Prosecution in case there was a proven legal justification. HOOD had issued a statement in which it denounced the haphazard accusations of innocent people alleged to belong to Al-Qaeda. The rights organization expressed sorrow and surprise at such lack of morals to the extent of making accusations of belonging to Al-Qaeda or even for a verbal altercation between these students, who were leaving the court after attending a hearing session for the trial of their relatives before the Court of Punitive Appeal. One of the security guards turned this incident, as it came in the news, into a case where relatives were later detained by the security services, which is false. This made every statement made by security sources quite suspicious, especially those which they posted on September Net website about the arrest of the suspects. The matter that has become a blackmail business within a planned policy of projecting Yemen in this exaggerated image in order to gain the sympathy of the States, which has earmarked huge funds to
Fakhri Hassan Al-Arashi Publisher & Chief Editor
Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 Issue 17 www.nationalyemen.com
Trial of Al-Qaeda Suspects including an Iraqi and a German The Criminal Prosecution prevented the parents of the AQAP suspects from attending the second session of the trial hearing, which was held on Sunday 3rd October 2010. By Mohammed Al-Qiri The mother of the German suspect said, “The authorities prevented us from attending the session, which is illegal since the suspects have not been proven guilty yet. The security authorities had prevented us from visiting them previously, and today they followed the same procedure.” The prosecution had prevented a representative of the German Embassy from attending the hearing session presided by Judge Ridhwan Al-Namer. The names of the suspects are as follows: 1) Badr Ahmed Rashed AlHuseini, a 31-year-old Yemeni sports coach, 2) Saddam Ali Abdullah Saleh Al-Raimi, a 22-year-old Yemeni university student, 3) Rami Hans Hayman Willi, a 16-year-old student from a German father and a Yemeni mother, 4) Abdullah Mosa’ed AbdulAziz Al-Rawi, a 16-year-old Iraqi student. The lawyer of the defendants, Faisal Al-Majeedi, presented his defense for Saddam, Rami and Abdullah that the court should not be trying these youths, because they should instead be tried in the Juvenile Court.
He added that “the decision of indictment decision, its phrasing purposefully vague, and that the charge against the defendants has been fabricated.” He also argued that the arrest and detainment of the defendants was void, because they were arrested after midnight (on 2nd May 2010) by civilians who failed to check their identities at the time, and without stating the reason of their arrest. The civilians who seized the group also failed to produce any official warrant from a judicial authority to the defendants or their families. All they said at the time was that they would return the defendants after half an hour. However, information about the detainees was not revealed to their families until two months after their arrest. Mr. Al-Majeedi defended that the search process was therefore void, and consequently all ensuing evidence is legally. “Article 144,” Al-Majeedi announced, “states that search of residences must occur after sunrise and before sunset; however, the defendants’ residences were searched at 1:30 am” Al-Majeedi further pointed out the inaccuracies and incon-
Confessed Qaeda bombmaker appears in Yemen court A self-confessed militant admitted on Saturday carrying out deadly attacks on military targets and oil facilities in Yemen, as four other suspected Al-Qaeda members went on trial for planning attacks. Saleh al-Shaoush was arrested on January 30 as he prepared to carry out a suicide bombing in the southeastern port of Mukalla. He had been stopped on his motorbike and found to be wearing an explosives belt and carrying two bombs. Shaoush admitted in court taking part in seven deadly attacks in Hadramawt and Marib provinces. “The acts attributed to me are correct,” he said. “I prepared and carried out these operations voluntarily and withcombating terrorism. Resultantly, HOOD has called on the security authorities and their news websites to be honest with people and the country “before Allah” and to put an end to this destructive irresponsibility that disturbs the public peace and shakes the confidence in the stability of the security that the government claims exists.
Mohammed Al-Asaadi Editorial Consultant
Mansoor Al-Rdaei News Editor
Frenchman’s Yemeni killer acted for ‘personal’ reasons
Such actions are more harmful to the country than beneficial, as this false image of Yemen repels potential investors that would help properly develop Yemen. It defaces the image of Yemen before the international community. Furthermore, the continuation of detention of those students and the depriving of them attending school, is legally de-
He was with members of his family outside a store when he was attacked by the gunmen, who fled afterwards. In Abyan province further west, a police car was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, also on Friday. Two policemen were wounded, as well as a man whom they had arrested on criminal charges and who suffered serious injuries. The suspect, Mohammed alJaadani, had been arrested in the city of Loder, which was the site of clashes between the army and suspected Al-Qaeda militants in August that killed 33 people. Loder is also a focal point of activity by the Southern Movement, a coalition of groups demanding either independence or autonomy for the south. Saleh confirms Yemen’s solidarity with Sudan
President Ali Abdullah Saleh confirmed yesterday Yemen’s solidarity with Sudan’s stability, sovereignty and unity. This came during his meeting with the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Sirt city, Libya. The two leaders discussed issues listed in the agenda of the Arab summit, currently held in Sirt, as well as the bilateral relations and areas of joint cooperation between the two brotherly countries and means of boosting them to serve interests of the two countries’ peoples. Al-Bashir briefed Saleh on the developments of situation in Sudan, including the situation in Darfur and South Sudan. President Saleh confirmed Yemen’s solidarity with Sudan’s stability, sovereignty and unity.
fined as criminal. The law considers restricting these freedoms as crime punishable by law. The HOOD statement is considered as a notice to the Public Prosecutor in which we request him to speedily investigate into the incident immediately, in accordance with Article (13) of the Punitive Procedures Law, which bounds the prosecution
to go to the place of detention and release any detainee who was arbitrarily detained and issue a report of that incident. The statement stresses that the parents of those students have the right to file their civil complaints against the Political Security Office and demand civil compensation in addition to punishing those who committed this shameful act.
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leged to have assigned one of the defendants, Badr Ahmed Rashed Al-Huseini, to establish contact with Al-Qaeda. The hearing session was subsequently adjourned to 17th October 2010. A day later in the Hadramout, a hearing session was held on the 4th October 2010, for the trial of 14 AQ suspects. In a statement for Mr. Khaled Al-Mawiri, of the prosecution, he said that “all suspects are involved in an armed gang that affiliates with a wing of Al-Qaeda. This relationship means, undoubtedly, that they are embroiled in criminal acts with threaten both the security and stability of Yemen.” Some of the suspects in the Hadramout had traveled to Syria to join Al-Qaeda in Iraq, where they were apprehended. Others were detained after their re-entry to Yemen. On the same day, the Criminal Court in the capital secretariat held a session presided by Judge Ridhwan Al-Namer for the trial of four suspects of providing intelligence to Iran. The prosecution continues to read the confessions of the suspects in the evidence reports and investigations.
Continued from ( 1 )
out duress.” The court in Sanaa set Monday as a date for final deliberations in the case of Shaoush, who faces the death penalty if convicted. In a separate hearing, the same court opened proceedings against four Al-Qaeda suspects for allegedly planning attacks on national and foreign targets in Yemen. According to the charge sheet, they are accused of attacking police and military installations, murdering security officials and resisting the armed forces. The principal suspect, Yahia Dahan, was said to be ill and did not appear in court. Another defendant, Faraj Hadi, claimed in court that Dahan had been tortured.
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sistencies of the evidence provided. “The report of evidence gathered is void and consequently all the resultant arguments are also void, as those reports fail to mention the names, jurisdictions and the authority of all concerned employees.” The defense lawyer then highlighted that because the prosecution had built its alleged accusations on those void procedures it compromised their legitimacy. The prosecution itself violated the law by not monitoring the security authorities throughout the period of the imprisonment of the defendants. At the conclusion of his defense, the lawyer urged the court to do the following: 1- To give a verdict with the defense, due to the illegitimacy of the prosecution’s case. 2- To refer the case to the Juvenile Court in the capital secretariat. 3- To release the two accused juveniles. At the end of the hearing, Judge Ridhwan Al-Namer, decided that the prosecution must respond to the lawyer of the defendants and summon Abdullah Al-Ashwal, an official in the Political Security, who is al-
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HOOD’s Human Rights Case Human rights rose to prominence only last century, but issues surrounding it have shaped modern history for the majority of countries. Particularly how sovereign states overcome human rights violations have been the most important socio-political issues in history. Yemen was no exception. By Jihan Anwar In the current climate of combating criminality and terrorism – an obvious and legitimate need, a common complaint is that human rights are often violated. These overstepped boundaries should be reaffirmed, certain rights groups advocate. Mr. Khaled Al-Anesi, Executive Director of HOOD, a Yemeni Human Rights organization, said that “the lines should be drawn more firmly, so as to distinguish between when we are potentially enforcing human rights by preventing a terrorist from acting, and when we are severely and permanently endangering innocent human beings and their rights.” The National Yemen interviewed Mr. Al-Anesi, when he outlined the organization’s overarching aims, which are principally related to meeting the articles put forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The declaration was signed right after the end of World War II and it defines, unequivocally, our inviolable rights as human beings in 30 Articles, so as to prevent the horrors of world wars to ever be repeated. While Yemen has signed various conventions guaranteeing human rights are respected (notably: ‘The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’; ‘The international Convention on the Ban of Genocide’; ‘The international Convention on War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity’; ‘The international Convention on Anti- Torture, Cruel Treatment and Inhumanity’), “the implementation of these accords have yet to be fully realised,” Al-Anesi said. The director went on to underline the UDHR articles which he felt Yemen needed to make considerable progress on, and indicates HOOD’s position. Article 7 – We Are All Equal Before The Law A study made in a UNDP Common Country Assessment identified ‘lack of transparency and participation’ in Yemen as one of the main reason for its underdevelopment. The report states: “Governance failures contribute to lack of transparency and participation, gender inequality, inequitable use of water resources and jobless growth […] The delicate balance between the central government and a tribal society has led to a situation that gives substantial influence to leader and other socially influential persons. Respect for, and protection of human rights in general, and women’s in particular, are yet to be institutionalized, despite some positive moves.” Article 19 – Freedom Of Expression Article 20 – The Right To Public Assembly In 2001, the government lined itself with the “war on ter-
ror”. But the definition of a ‘terrorist’ is notoriously vague and it has been sometimes used by the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) to charge political opponents, intellectuals, lawyers and media members reporting on conflict, questioning the government conduct or sympathizing with minority groups. On August 8th 2010, the National Security Authority has forcibly detained journalists Abdul Elah Heidar and Kamal Sharaf. Pacific public protests and condemnation for their arrest encountered police repression and dispersive measures. The existence of the SCC itself, formed in 1998, is actually in contradiction with the constitution since the formation of a special court is itself illegal. Article 11 – Innocence till proven guilty “When we held an International Press Conference in August 2002 in Yemen standing against the incommunicado imprisonment and deportation of Yemeni citizens to Guantanamo, many people and organizations-even human rights onediscouraged us from sustaining this cause for its dangerous nature”, stated Al Anesi, “The government claimed we were ‘terrorists’ because we demanded regular investigations on the charges of the arrested,” he added. For a country to hold its governmental branches more accountable and independent, a separation of executive and judicial powers must be applied. The tripartite executive, legislative and judiciary division are so limited to certain specific actions. However, prisoners have been reported to say that they were both interrogated and ‘tried’ by members of the police force itself, implying the executive body invested itself with judicial power. Article 10 – The Right to a Fair Trial In a recent interview with the CNN, HOOD was accused of defending Anwar Al Awlaki, “Our answer was simple. No, we are not defending Al Awlaki, but we are defending his right to have a fair trial […] I didn’t know of Awlaki before and I may disagree with his views; what we oppose is ruling to kill anyone in absence of a proper judiciary procedure” clarified Al Anesi. Article 18 – Freedom of Thought “When we punish someone, we should punish them only if they did something wrong”, argued Al Anesi, adding that it’s extremely dangerous when people start to be persecuted depending on what they think, their ideas, and when their beliefs are hold against them, no matter how extremist. Allaw and Al-Anesi established HOOD organization in 1998, one of the most active in
monitoring and fighting against human rights violations in Yemen to date. “When we started, allegations had been made claiming that we sustained only causes for the Islah Party. It’s our policy never to reply to petty insults, we leave it to our work to speak for us”. Article 5 – No one should be tortured, or treated in an inhumane or degrading fashion. Al Anesi narrated the proof of their neutrality by citing HOOD’s opposition to the conditions of prisons in Yemen, both governmental and tribal, by referring to, from among many, Chief Prosecutor General Sheikh Abdallah Bin Hussein Al Ahmar, Head of the Islah Party. Despite the fact of numerous testimonies and visible traces of tortures on inmates, official investigation or public punishment of the tortures has never been carried out. Anyone who speaks about it is threatened with retaliation either on the witness or on his family. Article 9 – No one should be arbitrarily arrested nor detained Frequent cases have been reported of prisoners jailed and released after weeks, months or even years without appearing in front of any judiciary body. Often they are denied of basic rights such as knowing what the charges against them are or informing their relatives of their imprisonment. To date the number of prisoners in the governmental / tribal prisons is unknown due to a lack of systematic registration of inmates. It is not unusual that instead of the suspect, a member of his family, even if they are a minor or a senior is held as ‘hostage’, even for years, upon the pretext that the arrest of a close relative will encourage and put pressure on the suspect to surrender himself to the police.
volve themselves in the defense of human rights throughout Yemen governorates to create, in their locality, a specific field of action. Several Yemeni NGOs members and activists were once trained by HOOD or worked with it. The HOOD organization put forward two draft laws, one on reform to the judiciary system assuring judicial integrity and independence; while the other
regarding the regulation of rights and civil duties. “In our policy we never limit ourselves,” asserted Al-Anesi, further declaring HOOD’s determination to stand up for human rights, independently by the graveness or sensitivity of the cases raised. “NGOs in Yemen are numbered in the hundreds but they lack coordination, cooperation and communication with each
other.” The vastness of the challenges in the country cannot be underestimated and sometimes it may seem a lost case, yet we do believe that with the coordination and union of people who really care for our nation a change can be brought forth so that Human Rights become, once again, ‘rights’ and not ‘privileges’.
Article 14 – The Right to Seek a Secure Shelter The recurrent rebel war in Sada’a is reported to have infringed several laws and violated human rights. To cite one in particular, some communities or individuals living in conflict areas were denied the right to search a safer place to stay or even only to leave the area for medical help. Article 8 – Human Rights Enshrined in Law “The problem in Yemen about any organization is that they lack specialist experience and training – there are really only a few organizations to which people can refer for help with specific human rights issues, so we are forced to deal with a wide range of cases.” To tackle this fact HOOD has been promoting and trying to attract lawyers and activists to in-
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Interrogating Criminal Intelligence in Sana’a By Mohammed Al-Qiri In the shadow of terrorism, rebellion, separatism and tribal violence in Yemen other aspects of crime are incredibly underreported in the press. However, it is very much on the increase, due to a booming population and rife unemployment. To this end the National Yemen met with Colonel Abdul-QawiAlBokhaiti, Assistant Director of Capital Secretariat Intelligence, who specializes in criminal intelligence and criminology. Here are some excerpts of the interview: Q: How much cross-over is there between criminal intelligence and counter terrorism? A: There is a specialized department to combat incidents of terrorism, but all of us in security-related departments cooperate in combating this crime. When departments receive information about terrorism suspects they refer the case to the counter-terrorism section in the Criminal Intelligence department either in the Political Security Office or other Security Agencies, depending on the nature of the threat posed – inciting hatred may go to the PSO, while bomb plots may be forwarded to another agency. The security officers from their area will then engage the suspects, or place them under surveillance. Our mission is to gather intelligence and information about their presence, financing sources, their numbers and other related details. Certain terrorist groups are then confronted by security and army forces because those groups are immediately dangerous, organized and have sophisticated intelligence. Often they are not residents of the capital, and sometimes they are foreigners. Q: Do you think that you can protect the capital from these terrorist attacks? A: Sometimes there is little coverage into what is happening in particular groups. There are cells that are dormant – even within the capital – and communicate with terrorist cells outside the capital. They are here and are armed. They have their own means of transportation. We have to be pro-active. Security officers track down those groups, prevent their expansion and limit their movements. We, in the capital, trace dormant cells and, if they make their move, stop them, arrest them and prevent them from carrying out their objectives. We collect information because there dangerous and influential elements supporting them, such as the tribes to which the terrorists belong. Sometimes a parliament member would come over to intercede for the release of suspects. Sometimes we receive some orders from more senior positions to release certain suspects of terrorist acts. Q: What are the most frequent types of crimes in Sana’a? A: Of course, in the capital Sana’a we have every instance of crime: homicide, abuse, embezzlement, fraud, and domestic violence. However, the most frequent type of crime is petty theft, or pickpocketing, and organized robberies. Q: How many reports do you receive about thefts? A: I can’t reveal precise figures. But this Intelligence de-
partment of the Capital Secretariat receives daily incident reports relating to theft every day, and we file the number of thefts to superior authorities, weekly and monthly. In each police station we will have an intelligence officer who receives reports and presents them to us. Q: How do thefts happen? A: Of course, thieves are convicted and we keep records of them. Wefocus on the patterns of theft.Ifwe knew the way in which it was conducted, wewould know the thief who follows that pattern. These thefts are related burglary, pickpocketing, car theft. In the car theft case, the thief steals a car, takes it to a deserted area to make use of the tires, electronic equipment and other things. We keep a record of all persons who are involved in such crimes. Q: What is the biggest challenge which prevents the authorities from capturing thieves? A: Our main problem is the when criminals, especially thieves escape to outside the capital where we cannot pursue them – not because it is beyond our jurisdiction, but because it is so expansive. Security agencies and departments in other governorates are, unfortunately, less interested in capturing thieves in Sana’a as they often have higher priorities. Thieves offending within the capital often live outside the capital. We can deal with the few who have permanent residence within the capital secretariat’s boundaries. We can gen-
There is a simple trick to steal jambiyyas at the moment. The thief, with a very cheap or fake jambiyya, will identify an old man, who most probably is wearing a very valuable jambiyya ... The thief will talk to the old man, confusing him or making him drop his guard and perhaps say something like that they hadn’t agreed on the price of the jambiyya. They then offer him their cheap jambiyya to hold. As soon as he does, they grab his precious jambiyya and run off into the crowd. The man, temporarily confused, reacts too late, and most probably will not be able to chase after the younger thief. Moreover, bystanders would react too late because all they would see would be a crazy old man waving a jambiyya around yelling about how someone stole his jambiyya.
erally track them down through in ‘suqs’ (markets) and the other places where they carry out theft. Q: You mentioned organized robbery – where are the prime locations for such crime? A: The hot spots are AlSab’een region due to its large area, followed by Al-Sha’oob region. Q: What items are stolen most frequently? A: Oddly jambiyyas (Yemeni tribal daggers) are stolen frequently, and the thieves generally belong to a specific tribe. There is also a notable trend in wrist-watch theft in Ibb at the moment. There is a simple trick with jambiyyas at the moment. The thief, with a very cheap or fake jambiyya, will identify an old man, who most probably is wearing a very valuable jambiyya – frequently worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions of riyals. The thief will talk to the old man, confusing him or making him drop his guard and perhaps say something like that they hadn’t agreed on the price of the jambiyya. They then offer him their jambiyya to hold. As soon as he does, they grab his precious jambiyya and run off into the crowd. The man, temporarily confused, reacts too late, and most probably will not be able to chase after the younger thief. Similarly, bystanders would react too late because all they would see would be a crazy old man waving a jambiyya around yelling about how someone stole his jambiyya. Q: How do you do deal with counterfeit money? A: We have difficulty scoping where false banknotes are produced, however, we pay more attention to known offenders of this crime, who often return to it. We also have better surveillance measures and intelligence on certain streets where there are plenty of money transfers and thieves are known to operate. Q: Tell us about the theft from vehicles in the capital. A: This is generally a new trend. We’ve found that the people who steal from cars – especially stealing money, cassette players, jambiyyas (jambiyyas must be removed before entering public buildings, and are often as a result left inside cars), these people are generally beginners and new to the criminal underworld. Q: What about actual car theft in the Capital Secretariat? A: Unfortunately there are many of such thefts. The thieves may steal a car – a Mercedes for example – and then remove its parts, which are not easy to come by and cannot be found in spare parts stores. We usually catch up with thieves when they sell them in certain suqs as second hand car parts, and that is when we arrest them Q: How do you seize vehicles which aren’t sold on for parts? A: We will try and locate them through security strips and checkpoints, as well as intelligence from our human sources in the vicinity of the capital who can locate the stolen vehicle.
Q: What age group is involved in such crimes? A: Young people these days are addicted to Qat and steal to get the cost of Qat. Some young people have responsibilities but are jobless. From the age of 20 to 25, they engage in robbery and pickpocketing. Those who are between 25 and 35 steal cars and houses. Q: Is there a culture of reporting crime in Sana’a? A: There are two types of people who will report crimes: the first type are those who are sincere and seriously concerned. We do our utmost to follow through with these people. Others, unfortunately, provide false reports, for various reasons, in order to get financial gains. We
are not naive about this phenomenon. Q: Are there female thieves? A: Many females are used by gangs as bait, where they are picked up by unsuspecting ‘curb crawlers’ where they lead the victim to a deserted area at which point a gang attacks the driver and steal the car. Women are also known to steal in wedding halls, where only females are allowed, stealing handbags and jewelry – everyday we receive reports about jewelry thefts. Q: Then do you have a female staff working in your intelligence department? A: We have a few female staff members, but certainly not
enough to cover all wedding halls, if that’s what you’re implying! These staff will deal with female suspects, including organizing and the information and records of female thieves, who are then put under watch. If we suspect a female of theft we may arrest her and retrieve the stolen jewelry from them. Interestingly, if a female thief is not identified after, say – stealing from a wedding hall, one of her friends might report her. We also find that interrogation with them is easier than that with men – the moment you shout at her, she confesses everything immediately. However, female criminals will usually only have stolen a handbag – nothing more.
Transparency Advocacy Project
Yemeni Media Top Management Training United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Yemen, through Transparency Advocacy Project for Media and CSOs holds the training course above in Sana’a during 4 15 December 2010. Training will be implemented by International Center for Journalist (ICFJ) based in Washington, USA aiming at enhancing performance and capacity development by upgrading knowledge and improving skills of editors in chief, managers and/or owners of media institutions in Yemen. Participants’ selection criteria:
• Applicants should be editors or hold managerial positions at media outlets (print, radio, or website). • Holds a relevant academic degree with minimum 5 years experience. • Should have enthusiasm and well prepared to attend all training sessions from 8am 4pm. • Both; applicant and his/her institution most have necessary permission in the field of media in accordance with the country’s regulations.
The Project invites media leaders to submit letters of interest from their media organizations, enclosing your CV and mentioning your journalistic and managerial roles in your institution. Please apply to the address below – applications are accepted form all media outlets. The Project will make sure to keep balance in the participating between governmental, political parties and independent media institutions. Three months Online mentor will be provided for all trainees after training course.
Deadline for applications: Wednesday 27 October 2010. For more info please contact the following address: P O Box 551 UNDP Sana’a Transparency Advocacy Project Attn: Mr. Hassan Al-Ansi Project Manager - Phone: 712221950 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Taleban Try Hearts-AndMinds Tactics By Mohammad Fahim - Afghanistan I was in Kabul when some of my friends from Tagab started calling me to tell me I should go there to get married. Although my family is originally from this district, I have lived mostly in other provinces. But they told me, “God has blessed the youth in Tagab.” I thought they were just teasing me, but what they said was true; God had really blessed the youth in Tagab, because the Taleban had passed laws there banning huge dowries and significantly lowered other wedding costs. The youth were happy about the law, because the problem of exorbitant wedding costs is a serious one all over Afghanistan. Traditionally, young men have had to go abroad to earn money in order to get engaged or married on their return. This issue was very interesting to me and I decided to write a report about it. I shared the idea with the IWPR office in Kabul, who told me to write the story as soon as possible. However, writing such an article was not easy for someone who had shaved his beard and moustache in contravention of the Taleban’s rules. Not only that, but I have worked in the media for the past two years. It is risky for someone like me to enter an area controlled by the Taleban. What if they arrested me as a spy and hung me? Many people have been killed this
way. I called a few friends in Tagab and told them that I was coming, and they promised to help me. Early one afternoon, I left Kabul in a taxi heading for Tagab. The four other passengers in the car asked me why I was going there. They had beards and moustaches, and were wearing turbans and scarves. I had put on a big waistcoat and a traditional pakol hat. I did not want them to know that I was a reporter and was going to the area to write a story, so I told them, “I am from Jalalabad. Pomegranates have grown ripe in Tagab. My aunt lives there. They have invited me for a pomegranate picnic.” But the passengers were not that stupid. They looked at each other and laughed. One of them said, “Young man, you are going after pomegranates, but what if somebody thinks you are a spy? Some strangers came from other areas to Tagab and then they were hung on trees.” On the way, they showed me the places where such incidents had happened. I was scared; the perspiration started flowing over my body. Sometimes, I wanted to tell the driver to stop so I could get off, but I had to continue – I had no choice. So the other travellers would not see my fear, I would also make some jokes with them. Then as we drove through a
village, a man in military uniform appeared. He had a gun. I thought he was someone from the army, but the driver knew he was Taleban. At this moment, I was neither alive nor dead. I thought that someone had informed the Taleban that I was coming and that they would drag me out of the car. The uniformed guy poked his head into the car and looked at everyone. I looked back at him. A little further down the road, someone was aiming at the car with a rocket launcher, and men with their faces covered were in the ditches by the sides of the road. The Taleban gunman asked the driver, “Have you given a ride to an infidel?” The driver answered briefly, “No. Thank God they are all Muslims”. The car started moving again. After we had driven away, I felt a bit better. Finally, we got to Tagab and I stayed with my friends for the night. It was raining hard. In the morning, I went to visit some places with my friend. I did not tell anyone that I was a reporter, because the people are scared of the Taleban there and they do not talk about them to journalists. We went to talk to a young farmer, Abdullah. He was very happy as he worked in his pomegranate orchard, digging water channels and sawing dry branches off the trees. He said
that the reason behind his happiness was the law passed by the Taleban. While laughing, he said, “I had leased my land to pay the dowry, but God and the Taleban were very merciful. They passed a law which changed our fortunes.” He insisted that we should either eat pomegranates or drink tea, but I wanted to finish my work fast and get out of there. After saying goodbye to Abdullah, we saw a good-looking young man walking with the aid of sticks. I told my friend, “Because of the wars, our handsome youth became disabled at the very start of their life”. Smiling, he told me, “The poor guy was not hurt in the war. He lost his leg in the war of dowry.” I was amazed. When we got closer to him, my friend called out, “Hello Gul Ahmad. Where are you going?” Gul Ahmad greeted us and we sat in the
shade of a tree. He told me the whole story of how he was injured when he went to Iran to earn dowry money. He had broken his leg while passing through mountainous terrain.. I then talked to Abdul Hakim Akhondzada, the governor of Tagab district on the phone, because he was out of town. “I consider this action of the Taleban against Sharia (Islamic law) but removing some traditions is not so bad,” he told me. In the evening, I went to my friend’s house and talked to him about contacting the Taleban. He was also scared and suggested that I speak to another friend of mine who had connections with the Taleban. I called him and he told me to meet him the following day. As I set off in the morning, I prayed a lot. My friend took me to a very remote part of the district. The closer we got to the Taleban headquarters, the more
their number increased. Most of them looked angrily at me because I had shaved my beard and moustache. My heart was beating fast. When we got to their commander, he asked, “Are you a journalist?” I said yes. “Most spies come masquerading as journalists and then report back to the foreigners. Are you not one of them?” he asked. I told him my reason for writing the report, and convinced him that the dowry ban was viewed as a positive move and that talking to me would make them more popular. I interviewed him and left the place immediately. I went to talk to a mullah of a mosque near the district and afterwards straight away left for Kabul. When I arrived there, I felt so relieved. I felt like I had a narrow escape.
hoods of Baghdad. Amnesty reported that the “vast majority” of Iraq’s detainees are Sunnis suspected of aiding insurgents. “My aunt called me on phone on December 30, 2005, to tell me that her two sons were detained with another 50 young men from their [Sunni] neighbourhood in Saideyah by Iraqi security forces,” Haider alObaidi said. “At that time, the eldest son was 33 and a father of a twoyear-old girl. The other son was 30 and had an infant son. My aunt still doesn’t know where her sons were taken or why. All she knows is that the men who took my cousins were wearing military uniforms.” Human rights minister Mikhail said it is still unclear to her investigators which groups were responsible for many of
the disappearances. She said a database was created in 2007 in cooperation with Iraq’s security forces to identify and locate the thousands of Iraqis reported missing. “Between 2005 and 2006, there were militias dressing as police forces and arresting and kidnapping people. This is when our ministry received the most complaints,” Mikhail said. Officials in the ministry of interior declined to comment about missing Iraqis. The deputy minister of justice agreed to be interviewed, but said his superior would not allow him to answer any questions on the subject. “The ministry is following up on the missing people and trying to learn their fate. We believe most of them were kidnapped by militias,” Mikhail
said, adding that while some of the missing had been located in prisons, the whereabouts of the majority was still unknown. Hasan Shaaban, an activist with the NGO Human Rights and Democracy in Iraq, estimates there are some 12,000 missing people still detained in Iraqi prisons. “As an NGO, we received many requests from many detainees’ relatives enquired about them at the ministries of defence, interior, justice and human rights, as well as with the American side, but found nothing,” Shaaban said. “The truth is, the whereabouts of the thousands of missing Iraqis, and the reasons behind why they were taken away, are still unknown.”
Iraq’s Disappeared Whereabouts of thousands who went missing during dark days of sectarian conflict still unknown.
By Ibrahim Saleh - Iraq
Each day before noon prayers, Sahera Ibrahim lights a candle at the Sunni shrine of Abu Hanifa in the Adhamiya district of east Baghdad to pray for the return of her son. Ibrahim is among thousands of Iraqis whose loved ones disappeared during the worst days of sectarian warfare between 2005 and 2007. Some were seen picked up by uniformed militias and piled into lorries, others simply seemed to vanish. Iraq’s minister of human rights Wijdan Mikhail told IWPR that her ministry had received more than 9,000 complaints in 2005 and 2006 alone from Iraqis who said a relative had disappeared. Human rights groups put the total number
much higher. The fate of many missing Iraqis remains unknown. Some, like Ibrahim, hold out hope that their loved ones remain languishing in one of Iraq’s notoriously secretive prisons. “It was July 26, 2006. I was returning home with my son, when I saw a military vehicle parked in our neighbourhood. I was shocked when they came and grabbed my son and took him away,” Ibrahim said. In the following months, Ibrahim scoured the prisoner lists at Iraq’s detention centres. She found no evidence he was being held in Iraqi or American custody. Ibrahim said she was about to give up the search when she saw
an international report on Iraqi prisons showing an image of her son in custody. She recorded the programme, and its grainy footage remains her only hope. Ibrahim said that as far as she knows, her son was never charged with any crime or tried in any court. This fate is not uncommon in Iraq’s extensive prison network, according to a recent report by Amnesty International. The report on unlawful detention, enforced disappearance and torture, estimated that 30,000 prisoners are in custody without trial in some 35 detention centres run by Iraq’s ministries of justice, defence and interior. The last United States-run prison at Camp Cropper was handed over to Iraqi security forces in July. The Amnesty report said that enforced disappearances are a serious violation of international human rights law. “Causing suffering to relatives of the disappeared - an inevitable and at times deliberate outcome of enforced disappearance - is also a human rights violation, and has been endured by countless Iraqi families over the years,” it argues. Stories of such suffering are easy to find in Sunni neighbour-
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Tajik Authorities Struggle to Quell Militants Attack by armed militia leaves 25 government soldiers dead, raises questions about stability and foreign Islamist presence. By Lola Olimova, Nargis Hamrabaeva - Central Asia The mountainous terrain of eastern Tajikistan allows locally-born militants to slip away from government troops. (Photo: Flickr/Irene2005) As Tajik government forces continue a security sweep to crush armed groups in the eastern mountains after losing 25 soldiers in an ambush, analysts are divided on the reasons for this resurgence in militant activity. IWPR’s enquiries indicate that the resistance is coming from local paramilitary forces led by guerrilla leaders from Tajikistan’s 1992-97 civil war. Claims by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, IMU, a militant group allied with the Taleban, that it was behind the attack are probably not entirely accurate but may contain a grain of truth, as the IMU has contacts with the Tajik groups and may have sent emissaries to encourage them to rise up. The attack happened on September 19 as a military convoy was making its way through the Kamarob Gorge, in the Rasht valley some 180 kilometres east of the capital Dushanbe. Twenty-five soldiers were killed and 11 injured when their unarmoured vehicles came under fire. The troops had been dispatched to hunt down some of the 25 prisoners who escaped from a high-security prison in the capital Dushanbe in August. Most of the convicts were part of a group arrested last year following a drive by security forces to root out armed groups in eastern Tajikistan. The Tajik defence ministry and the State Committee for National Security said the latest ambush was the work of a militant group led by Mirzohoja Ahmadov – a former police officer – and also including Mullo Abdullo and Alloviddin Davlatov. This group, they added, had been recruiting young men for terrorist training. Security forces raided Ahmadov’s home near the town of Gharm, killing five suspected militants and seizing an arms cache in the process. Government troops launched a manhunt for local militants and any foreign allies present in the area. A resident told IWPR on September 22 that the situation remained tense and military vehicles were driving up and down the main road between Gharm and the Kamarob Gorge. Another local man said the roads in and out of villages were blocked off. LOCAL OR IMPORTED MILITANCY? The growing unrest in the eastern mountains is a worrying reminder of the 1992-97 civil war, when the United Tajik Opposition, UTO, a guerrilla force dominated by the Islamic Rebirth Party, IRP, fought against the post-Communist government. The conflict ended in a peace deal in which paramilitaries were disarmed and disbanded, the IRP became a legal opposition party, and former UTO leaders were given state positions.
The list of alleged ringleaders named by the Tajik government point strongly towards a local origin for the violence – specifically, former UTO commanders who have grown tired of central government and are still able to command the support of local men, and arm them as well. The story got more complicated when the IMU, believed to be based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, announced that it had carried out the attack. This claim was made in a video recording sent to RFE/RL radio’s Tajik service showing a man who identified himself as Abdufattoh Ahmadi, an IMU spokesman. In the recording, he said the attack was retaliation for Tajik government policies such as closing mosques, jailing Muslims and banning Islamic forms of dress. In the face of this apparent contradiction and the general lack of information, some have accused the Tajik government
In the face of this apparent contradiction and the general lack of information, some have accused the Tajik government of jumping to conclusions about the culprits’ identity.
of jumping to conclusions about the culprits’ identity. Others even allege that the government has put out misinformation in a bid to justify heavy-handed intervention in the eastern valleys. But Moscow-based Central Asia expert Sanobar Shermatova Shermatova insists it would be wrong to believe claims that the Tajik authorities “invented” the existence of a militant threat. “That cannot be true,” she said. Some analysts suspect the IMU could be laying false claim to the attack as a way of boosting its image in Central Asia, where it originally came from and where it carried out a number of raids in 1999 and 2000. “Whatever the IMU says, it’s nothing but talk,” Marat Mamadshoev, chief editor of the Asia Plus newspaper, said. “I’m sure that either there are no foreigners in Rasht at all, or else there are so few of them that it isn’t worth mentioning.” But as Shermatova notes, the arguments for the attack being the work of locals or of the IMU are not necessarily mutually exclusive. “Maybe it really was IMU guerrillas, or maybe it was guerrillas who are linked to the IMU but are local residents who never laid down their arms,” she said. An insider source in one of Tajikistan’s security agencies told IWPR that maverick ex-
guerrilla commanders remained a force to be reckoned with in some eastern mountain regions that used to be UTO strongholds during the civil war. For years, he said, the government chose to chose to turn a blind eye to them because it had other priorities. “After the  armistice, the authorities closed their eyes to numerous crimes being committed by former UTO commanders and tried to buy them off by giving them official posts, factories, and opportunities to earn money from the drugs trade,” said the officer, who did not want to be identified. “Throughout this time, there was a semblance of government – by day, officials, police and other representatives of the authorities went around the district centres, but by night, power lay in the hand of former UTO guerrillas.” This arrangement began unravelling, he said, with a number of incidents including an attack on a Chinese coalmining venture in 1997, and the killing of a police colonel the following year, allegedly by supporters of Ahmadov, who is now accused of leading militant forces in Rasht valley. Ahmadov was a UTO guerrilla commander during the civil war, but after the 1997 peace deal he was transformed into a senior officer in the government’s police force, serving on home ground. That lasted until early 2008, when another Tajik police unit was sent to Gharm to arrest Ahmadov, and its commander was shot dead. IWPR’s security source alleges that the investigation into this killing was not conclusive and that once again, the government did too little to curb the growing threat. However, when reports of armed men roaming the mountains – including Mullo Abdullo, apparently back in the country after many years in Afghanistan or Pakistan – emerged in spring 2009, the government was spurred into action and ordered a military operation, in which Mirzo Ziyo, a top UTO figure and still powerful in eastern Tajikistan, died under unclear circumstances. “After that the authorities decided to tighten the screws a bit and this immediately put…the [ex-opposition] commanders on their guard. They began gathering former UTO fighters around them and also recruiting young men,” said IWPR’s source. The risks posed by the recent unrest would be greatly heightened if there were firm evidence of IMU involvement. The government’s claim that Mullo Abdullo was involved would seem to point to a direct link. The ex-UTO commander was reported to have spent many of the intervening years with the IMU in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mullo Abdullo, whose real name is Abdullo Rahimov, was widely reported to have turned up in eastern Tajikistan last year together with an entourage of armed militants. In his account of the resurgence of armed groups in east Tajikistan, IWPR’s security agency source said the IMU
seemed to be involved, though not in a central role. At the same time as former guerrillas were reforming their groups, the IMU was infiltrating northern Afghanistan. After many years much further away in Pakistan, it used its new location to revive contacts with paramilitary commanders in Tajikistan. The IMU was created by Uzbek militants who fought
capacity [including] the IMU guerrillas, who began relocating to Afghan provinces adjacent to Tajikistan,” said the security source. “Some of its members crossed into Darvaz through our supposedly well-protected border. They included Mullo Abdullo, who met all the former UTO commanders and called on them to take up arms.” As for the recent ambush, he added, “Yes, the IMU had something to do with it, although the main perpetrators were our own ‘mujahedin’.”
“After that the authorities decided to tighten the screws a bit and this immediately put… the [ex-opposition] commanders on their guard. They began gathering former UTO fighters around them and also recruiting young men.”
CAREFUL CRISIS MANAGEMENT NEEDED
on the UTO’s side in the Tajik civil war, so they shared a common past. “The situation was hotting up in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the Coalition and the Pakistani army were trying to destroy the Taleban’s combat
The security crisis in east Tajikistan is not the only one the government has had to deal with. On September 3, two policemen died and 25 people were injured when a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a police office in Khujand, the main town of northern Tajikistan. While officials blamed the IMU, the group did not admit responsibility. Three days later, five people were injured by an explosion in a nightclub in the capital Dushanbe. Police later said it was not a terrorist attack. Finally, to underline the fragility of the border with Afghanistan, Tajik frontier guards say they killed at least 20 Taleban and lost one of their own men in a firefight on September 11. Among the experts, there is
little consensus on the scale of the problem in the Rasht valley, who is to blame or what should be done about it. Ahmadshoh Komilzoda, a commentator for Voice of America, says the presence of armed groups is a real threat. “The government needs to make every effort, in conjunction with the local community, either to eliminate these groups or to reach agreement with them peacefully, to prevent even greater bloodshed,” he said. IWPR’s security agency source said it was important for the government to communicate more clearly with the public. “Above all, the authorities need to win the information war to make the public finally realise what’s going on in Rasht, and that if the public remains silent, further bloodshed could ensure,” he said. No one, however, is predicting a rapid descent into conflict, or a replay of the civil war of the Nineties. “Objectively, there aren’t the preconditions for civil war in this country,” political analyst Rashid Ghani Abdullo said. “If we go back to the Nineties, the war began because of a ferocious power struggle between regional political elites. Right now, there’s no question of a power struggle. There might be people who are unhappy about the authorities’ actions but there’s no one who fundamentally repudiates them. In addition, the public doesn’t support the guerrillas.”
National Yemen NATIONAL YEMEN VACANCY NOTICE
JUNIOR NEWS / NEWS ANALYSIS JOURNALISTS
Number of vacancies
03 October 2010
$250 USD monthly salary + benefits
Full-time (45 hour weeks) / irregular shifts (journalists will be required to travel)
The NATIONAL YEMEN (NY) newspaper requires two staff journalists to cover ‘breaking news’ and ‘news analysis’ articles. Journalists must be prepared to travel frequently, and at short notice, to provide coverage around Yemen. Our news journalists will be required to write approximately 1000 words of ‘news’ articles, and 2000 words of ‘news analysis’ articles each week on pre-agreed topics, meeting appropriate deadlines. Journalists will be required to attend two weekly staff meetings at NY HQ, and also to complete our journalism training packages.
We are looking for young, reliable, articulate journalists. No specific background in journalism is required, as training will be given. This vacancy will be most suitable to recent Yemeni graduates. Journalists will be expected to be punctual and to meet both our deadlines and our standards. Failure to meet either our deadlines or our high professional standards may result in instant dismissal. Advanced English language competency is required. Journalists will be expected to be competent computer users.
In time we will offer an improved salary, commensurate with the journalists’ competency and professional development. This job is also an excellent opportunity to begin a promising career, and will provide excellent professional training. It also may lead to international coverage of a journalist’s work.
Applicants should send a covering email, their CV, including all contact details, and also a sample of their written work. The written sample should be 800 words long, in a ‘news analysis’ style, on a subject of their choice.
Applicants will be contacted within three days, if they have been successful. The applicant will be expected to attend an assessment day and interview within one week, and will be expected to write a further article, of our choice. Selected applicants will work for one month on a non-paid probation status after being selected. If the trainee journalist meets our deadlines and reaches our standards over the probationary period, they will be fully welcomed to a permanent position with us, with full pay.
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Ministry Honours Tennis Champions Abdul-Karim Mufadhal The Youth & Sports minister, on Tuesday, honored the champions of the West Asia Tennis Tournament held in Aleppo, Syria between September 21st and October 2nd. Ten Arab and Persian countries competed in the championship, with Yemen coming out on top over all, and securing gold medals. Syria, Yemen, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, the UAE and Iraq were represented in this qualifying tournament for the Asia Tennis Tournament. In this tournament, Yemen attained a total of 12 medals: eight golds, four silvers and a bronze as well as the cup of the
first place among the West Asian competing countries. For two years running Yemen has classified as first in the region for Tennis. In the honoring ceremony, the Youth & Sports minister, Mr. Hamood Mohammed Obad, gave a speech in which he praised this outstanding achievement, of which all of Yemen is truly proud. He said that “such accomplishments secure Yemen’s international sporting recognition, and luckily coincides with the anniversaries of the Yemeni revolutions of September, October and November.” “This success is the fruit of
federation’s efforts, by its coaches, administrators and – of course – players. Praise should be lauded to the federation chairman, Dean Mohammed Riq Al-Sormi, who has exerted innumerous efforts to developing the federation.” The minister gave directions to honor the participating delegation: Nabil Mahdi, Secretary General of the federation (head of the delegation), the Coach Wadie’ Thabet, the player Ghassan Al-Ansi, Sameer Sanad, Omar Al-Ra’awi, Ahmed AlShowafi, Shaima’a Al-Olofi and Ayat Taher. The ceremony was attended by a score of other officials in
addition to the Youth & Sports minister, which demonstrated the expression of praise. Others at the ceremony included: Mr. Mu’ammar Al-Iryani, First Undersecretary of Youth & Sports, Mr. Abdullah Bhyan, Undersecretary of Youth and Sports, Mohammed Al-Hasani, Undersecretary of the Youth Sector, Mr. Abdul-Hamid Al-Sa’eedi, Undersecretary of the Sports Sector, Mr. Ramzi Al-Aghbari, Undersecretary of the Projects Sector, Mohammed Al-Ahjuri, Secretary General of the Yemen Olympic Committee as well as the general managers of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and journalists.
Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 Issue 17 www.nationalyemen.com
Yemen Volleyball B Team Comes Fourth in Arab Tournament Yemen’s B team for beach volleyball, which consists of the two players Adeeb AlMaja’ali and Isar Jalal, lost against the Lebanese team 2-1 in the match which decided between third and fourth place in the 19th Arab Male Beach Volleyball Tournament, held in the Princess Ayah Bint Al-Hussein stadium in the Jordanian capital Amman during the period of September 20th until 5th
October. Our national side was represented by two teams. Team A qualified in its category and came first place in the fourth category, with two wins. It scored 2-1 against the teams of Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait, losing in the fourth round 2-0 to Oman, the champion team of the tournament which went on to defeat Bahrain team in the finals 2-1.
U19: Yemen 0 - Iran 2
Special Yemeni Youth Olympians Win Silver Abdul-Karim Mufadhal The champions and stars of Yemen in the special Olympiad returned to Sana’a last Monday afternoon after record-breaking achievements, despite the fact that this was the first time for most competitors. The special Olympians secured 39 medals: seven golds; fourteen silvers, and; eighteen bronze. Their result ensured Yemen was distinguished in the seventh international Special Olympic Games for the Middle East and North Africa region that was hosted in the Syrian capital Damascus during the period September 24th to 3rd October 2010. Upon its return to Yemen the delegation were greeted as guests of honour in a large official and public reception. Mr. Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, Chairman of the National Board for Awareness and Mr.
Fares Al-Sanabani, Chairman of the Special Yemeni Olympiad Board of Directors received the delegation in person. The athletes in our national team earned medals in many track and field events. Osamah Al-Asali won a gold medal in the race of 200 meters, AbdulHakim Al-Nuwaihi won silver medal and Zainab Al-Naser won a bronze medal in the long jump. The team also won 12 medals in weight-lifting, two of which are gold, five silver and five bronze, as well as two gold and two bronze medals in Boo Chi (a traditional Arab sport, similar to hockey). The female Boo Chi doubles team Asma’a Al-Mawiri and Sawsan AlWashali secured golds. The bronze medals were won by the male doubles Mohammed AlJahoori and Rizq Ba Heraiz.
China: Asia Juniors Basketball Champions, Yemen Falls To Sixth Abdul-Karim Mufadhal The Chinese Team has swept the 21st Asian Basketball Tournament for Juniors under 18, hosted by Yemen during the period from 22nd September until 1st October, by winning against South Korea in the finals, 103 to 80. The Taiwanese team came second, after defeating the previous victor, Iran, in the semi-finals. Iran pushed to the top of its category at the expense of Yemen, 80 - 45. Our national team lost to Vietnam for fifth place, 98 – 48. This was the worst match for Yemen, which lost due to the refusal of player Sameer Al-Hodaiqi and other four players to play in the match as an act of protest against and disobedience to Coach Sabri Abdul-Wahed. Yemen went on to win sixth place after winning against Lebanon, the West Asia champions 79 – 75. Yemen has excelled itself in organizing and hosting the tournament,” said Secretary General, Hacob Khajirian in the honoring ceremony. The Yemeni media however was largely absent from the
event, particularly Saba News Channel which had previously covered national Basketball matches. The organizers thanked the ‘22nd May Halls’, ‘Ahli Sana’a’, ‘22nd May Club’ and the ‘Bilqis Club’, for hosting the matches and added generously to the infrastructure for the basketball game in our country. The final results for the participating teams were as follows:
The team has also earned six medals – one gold, five bronze – in table tennis thus winning third place in the male doubles and female doubles. Our players also won a silver medal in football and another in handball. The result of the handball final with Syria was 16 - 11. In football, the Syrian team won the match with a difference of one goal after both teams were equal in points, which made Syrian First Lady Asma’a Al-Assad, wife of the Syrian president, come down to the field to congratulate our players for their strong and honorable performance, who were tough competition to the Syrians. The overall scores of the tournament in all games resulted in Syria winning first place, Yemen second and Algeria third. Mr. Fares Al-Sanabani deliv-
ered a press statement praising the achievements of the Yemeni Special Olympians in Syria. He pointed out that “all the people of Yemen should support and honour these champions.” Mr. Al-Sanabani said that the continuation of the achievements in the Yemeni Special Olympiad is a special emphasis on the skill, competency and success of the sports organizations in Yemen. He thanked all those who contributed and participated in fostering this area in Yemen, the patrons of which are the President of the Republic of Yemen Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh, Mr. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh and Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh.
AFC - LINZI, Two goals from substitute Kaveh Rezaei ensured Iran ended their AFC U-19 Championships on a high note with a 2-0 win over Yemen in Group D at Linzi Stadium. Following a goalless firsthalf, Rezaei broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with Iran’s first goal of the tournament before converting a penalty four minutes from time, one which Yemen skipper Mohammed Boqshan conceded and collected a second yellow card as a result. Iran had the first attempt on goal after just two minutes but Mojtaba Mahboub’s spectacular overhead kick unfortunately ended up in the arms of Yemen keeper Abdo Esam. Tawfik Emad then lifted his effort over the bar six minutes later following a strong run into the box and Mahboub sidefooted woefully wide from Mohammad Abazadehonbirneyglou’s inviting cross just after the half hour mark. Only Hadi Rishi’s acrobatics denied Yemen in the 33rd minute when the Iran keeper managed to get a fingertip to Ahmed Al Baidhani’s mis-directed cross that threatened to drift in at the far post before Ali Ali fired wide from the edge of the box shortly afterwards. Iran came even closer to breaking the deadlock two minutes later when Yaghoub Karimi’s inswinging free-kick
from the left flank was completely misjudged by Esam and cannoned of the far post. Hadi Dehghani then hit the side netting after beating a defender as the half finished goalless. Iran did take the lead 11 minutes into the second period. Mahboub showed good strength in the box to hold off the attentions of the Yemen defence and although his shot hit Yemen defender Ahmed Al Khamri, Rezaei was on hand to slot home at the back post. Yemen had a chance to level three minutes later when Hesham Al Asbahi beautifully brought down a cross in the far side of the box but struck his shot disappointingly over the bar. Karimi fired a right-foot free-kick inches past the post in the 75th minute before Yemen were reduced to 10 men with just four minutes to go as skipper Mohammed Boqshan pole-axed Rezaei in the box after the striker’s excellent touch meant he looked certain to score. Boqshan was dismissed having already been booked and although Esam saved Rezaei’s penalty low down to his left, he was about three yards off his line when the kick was taken so a re-take was ordered. Rezaei made no mistake the second time, firing the ball in the top corner to seal Iran’s win.
China 1st place South Korea 2nd place China Taipei 3rd place Iran 4th place Philippines 5th place Yemen 6th place Lebanon 7th place Japan 8th place Syria 9th place Iraq 10th place Kazakhstan 11th place Malaysia 12th place India 13th place Sri Lanka 14th place Saudi Arabia 15th place Qatar 16th place
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Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 Issue 17 www.nationalyemen.com
Yemen Finalizing WTO Accession Fuad Qadi Yemen looks forward to completing the requirements of accession to the WTO and attaining full membership by the end of this year. Yemen recently signed a bilateral agreement with the US and an agreement with the WTO delegation that visited Yemen recently, on a timetable for completion of bilateral and unilateral negotiations before January. By joining the WTO, Yemen attempts to attract more investments but it must first prove that its legislations and laws are in concordance with legislations and laws in effect in 152 member states in the organization. The Minister of Trade & Industry said that he is planning a Yemeni delegation to visit Geneva on 18th October for 15 parliamentarians who have posts related to commercial and economic issues. The visit will be coordinated with the WTO in order to get acquainted with, and learn from, the experiences of other states who have recently undergone accession to the WTO. This visit comes within the communication policy outlined by the National Committee for Accession within the organization. The Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Yahya Al-Mutawakel, said that the results of the 8th round of Yemen’s negotiations with the WTO, held in Geneva a few days ago with the presence of Mr. Rashad Al-Rassas, Minister of Legal Affairs, were successful and fruitful. He added that “during the negotiations a bilateral agreement with South Korea was signed and also an agreement of timetables was signed with Japan.” He pointed to the importance of the legislative package, which had been endorsed by
Cabinet ministers, and presented to parliament, in the acceleration of the joining process. The Minister of Trade & Industry is expecting to conduct the final round of negotiations with the trade organization during the course of the coming two months. After which, Yemen should be fully prepared for accession process, especially so for the scheduled implementation commitments and the signing of bilateral agreements with most of the member states which asked for bilateral negotiations. The success of the seventh meeting of the ‘Yemen’s accession working group’ to the WTO, which was held at the end of January in Geneva, represented a distinguished turning point in the course of negotiations in the light of agreement on a timetable for Yemen’s accession to the organization the same year. The eighth meeting was held in July to complete the bilateral agreements as well as what the states’ support for Yemen’s obtaining full membership in the organization. The government is greatly hopeful to attract an inflow of investment into Yemen with its joining the organization, which it considers a strategic goal. Dr. Al-Mutawakel said that: “Yemen’s accession will ensure the harmony and integration of Yemen’s trade systems with the world trade system and it will substantially boost confidence in the investment environment.” He went on to say, “Prolonging Yemen’s exclusion from the organization will lead to its seclusion and solitude from international trade events and developments, and its economy will not be able to merge with the global economy.” Dr. Al-Mutawakel says that
Yemen’s adoption of the policy of a market economy open to all foreign products and exports makes Yemen’s WTO membership has no negative impact on the private sector, nor on national industries. He said, “above all, the Ministry of Trade & Industry has presented a draft decision for the protection of the national products, in order to absorb the impacts of the process of dumping goods in the Yemeni market in case of joining the organization. We have notified the WTO of that.” In this respect, he agrees with the Chairman of the Liaison and Coordination Office with the WTO, Dr. Hamoud Al-Najjar, who has also spoken about the subject. However, he believes that Yemen must follow ‘the market’ economy and that accession to the organization “will change everything”. He said, “If we look at the current status of the imports market, the vision will be a lot different – Yemen imports more than 95% of its goods. Thus, opening our markets further to the outside world will not change anything in terms of import. Exports is a different picture, but the private sector must remember that joining the WTO will provide more opportunities to reach member states markets.” In a study on the legal aspects of the WTO and the effects of Yemen’s accession on Yemeni legislation, the study recommended working on lessening the potential losses and seizing the opportunity and gains offered by the global trade system and realizing these opportunities. The study concluded by recommending accession to the organization for potential development of the national economy, overruling other concerns.
On the other hand a study which was discussed in substantial postgraduate research by the Faculty of Law in Aden University demanded protection and support for growing industries in Yemen. The study, prepared by Mr. Nasr Ghailan, views the ‘protection’ of domestic products and industries as under threat from international competitors after Yemen accedes into the WTO. Ghailan argued that Yemen should not be so hasty to rush into the WTO before it properly develops a framework in which domestic products could compete. However, according to AlMutawakel, joining the WTO does not necessarily mean zero protection for national products, but rather would offer reasonable protection to domestic businesses. He expanded saying, “The protection isn’t absolute, because complete protection in these terms would prove useless for the economy.” “Some manufacturers, who have relied on this monopolization, whether it was through preventing competitive imported goods or providing unlimited support which existed during the eighties of last century, are unable to raise the quality of their products,” he added. “This made some Yemeni investors invest outside Yemen, thus raising the degree of competition within domestic markets.” He concluded saying, “in addition, the opportunities for Yemeni businesses to export their goods to other markets will, positively, incentivize raising the quality of products and the efficiency of their businesses.” Yemen first initiated negotiations for joining the WTO on
November 20th, 2004. Before then, a request for joining the organization was presented in April 12, 2000, which was endorsed by the organization’s council. A working group of open membership was formed by the member states which started in 2002 directing questions to Yemen on the memorandum of the foreign trade system. In the process of its joining the organization, Yemen is negotiating through three parallel negotiation courses. The first requires providing information about all aspects of the economy and fiscal systems, and providing preliminary offers for access into the market of commodities and services. In the second course, Yemen entered seven rounds of multilateral negotiations which are represented in the meeting of the work team for the joining process. During these rounds, 800 queries and questions from the member states in relation to the policies of trade, customs and tax and other commercial aspects were answered. Meanwhile, bilateral negotiations are underway with regards to accessing commodities and services markets with other member states who wish to negotiate with the state attempting to join the organization. At the level of bilateral negotiations, Yemen made four agreements, with China after only two rounds of negotiations, with Australia after nine rounds, with European Union after nine rounds, and with Canada after eight rounds. It is expected to conclude the signing of agreements with the rest of the states which have demanded negotiations this year. These states are: the United States of America, with which nine rounds of negotiations
were made, Japan (seven rounds), South Korea (seven rounds), Honduras (two rounds) and Ukraine (two rounds). The programs of economic reforms adopted by Yemen since 1995 have contributed to the amendments of many economic legislations and policies which aim at freeing the national economy to facilitate its merging with the international economy. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers presides the committee of the General Policies for negotiation with the WTO, while the Minister of Trade & Industry presides the National Committee for Preparation and Negotiation with the WTO. The committee includes representation of all parties affected by accession. The World Trade Organization principally tackles three areas: commodities, services and other trade-related issues, such as intellectual property rights. The final accession file will include three documents: the report of the working group which includes a summary on the meetings, the conditions of accession and the protocol of accession, the schedule of commitments related to the commodities as well as the schedule of commitments related to the services. The report of the work group covers a large number of issues, including national economic policies, the Yemeni policymaking framework and their implementation, domestic policies that affect the commodities trade, like export / import systems, the intellectual property law (related to trade), service trade policy, transparency issues and standing trade agreements.
Oil Ministry Announces Three Blocks Sold, Ten Blocks Offered Fuad Qadi Mr. Ameer Al-Aidaroos, Minister of Oil & Minerals, said that the ministry will offer ten investment opportunities in the field of oil and gas during the 3rd Yemeni Oil, Gas and Minerals Conference that will be held during 18th and 19th October. “The new oil blocks will be negotiable with major companies that have the financial backing” he said, and the blocks will include both onshore and offshore hydrocarbon blocks. The blocks are expected to be tendered on the sidelines of the coming international oil conference, which will be held in Sana’a. Sources confirmed that there had already been notable interest in arranging private meetings with officials, during the meeting. He pointed out that the offshore blocks are distributed on blocks 16, 22, 23 and 94: The Al-Qamar block (16) in Al-Maharah governorate already has four exploration wells dug in the Jaiza’ Al-Qamar Basin. Kamaran block (22)
in Hodeida province in the Tihamah basin of the Red Sea will also be offered. In this block six exploration wells have been dug in addition to Hodeida Block 23, where six exploration wells have also been dug. The Abdul-Kawri block (94) in Socotra Aden has also been offered. Al-Aidaroos also said that the onshore blocks on offer include: West Al-Armah (42), located south of Al-Raba’ Al-Khali, the North Thamoud (59) in Hadramout governorate, North Al-Khadhra’a (79) also located south of the Raba’ Al-Khali in Hadramout, Wadi Ser (80) in Hadramout, Wadi Al-Banin (84) and Block of Wadi Do’aiber (88) in Al-Masilah, Hadramout. He confirmed that Yemen’s offer to those open blocks is a significant message to potential investors and the international community showing Yemen’s unique position and relative nascence in oil exploration. The minister had announced, at the beginning of last week,
the names of the companies that won bids for three open oil blocks in Yemen from the five blocks the ministry offered put for oil and gas exploration in June 2010: The Norwegian DNO Company won block 48; the Austrian OMV Company, one of the major companies in Central Europe, won block 86, while Total, one of the major international companies won block 85. Mr. Al-Aidaroos said that this experience of direct negotiation with international oil companies is the first of its kind, as the ministry is following a new tactic in response to the directions of the president and government for expanding the exploration and production activity in various blocks, facilitating the competition process and negotiating according to competition bylaws, endorsed by the Council of Ministers for companies with legal track-records and financial security and which have the technical capacity for operation and production here.
10/11/10 6:33 PM
Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 Issue 17 www.nationalyemen.com
10/11/10 6:33 PM
Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 Issue 17 www.nationalyemen.com
10/11/10 6:33 PM