Sunday, 28 March 2010

Diplomat jailed over charges of abusing Yemen's unity

By Nasser Arrabyee/28/03/2010

A former diplomat was sentenced Sunday to five years in prison after being convicted of calling for separation of southern Yemen from the north.

The State Security Court, chaired by Judge Muhsen Alwan, handed down the sentence of five years in prison to Kasem Askar Jubran, who previously served as ambassador of Yemen in Mauritania.

Askar refused to ask for an appeal saying," there is no justice, and if there is any, I would not have been here behind the bars."

Askar, from the south, was arrested in April 16, 2009, for charges of abusing the national unity, calling for separation, inciting people to start armed rebellion against the government. He was a military officer and served as an ambassador in Mauritania from 2001 to 2006.

The same court is scheduled pronounce a similar verdict on Monday, March 29, 2010, against a university professor from the south who was arrested last year and put on trial on charges of abusing the national unity and calling for separation by armed struggle.

Hussein Al Akel, professor at Aden university, was arrested on June 8, 2009, on charges of fomenting sectarian strife and calling for disunity by armed struggle.

Last week, the same court handed down a sentence of 10 years in prison to the former Parliamentarian Ahmed Bamualem after being convicted of abusing the national unity and calling for separation by armed struggle.

Ali Mohammed Al Sa'adi, activist in the southern movement which calls for separation, was also sentenced to one and a half year in prison and Kasem Al Dairi was acquitted of the same charges. The two defendants were charged with abusing the national unity.

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