Sunday, 23 January 2011

Female activist arrested after calling President Saleh to leave power

By Nasser Arrabyee/23/01/2011
The Yemeni authorities arrested Sunday a female human right activist for leading student demonstrations demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Tawakul Karman, chairwoman of the female Journalists without chains organization , a local NGO, was arrested from her house at about 1:00 am Sunday from her house immediately after she arrived from a partisan meeting.

She and her husband were returning from a meeting with the secretary general of the Islamist party, Islah, Abdul Wahab Al Ansi, when three vehicles full of gunmen in military and civil clothes kidnapped her, sources close to family said Sunday.

The ministry of interior said in a statement that Miss Karman was arrested according to an order from the prosecution for charges of making unlicensed demonstrations and inciting violence and chaos.

For almost one week, Miss Karman, who is also a leading member in the largest Islamist opposition party Islah, was leading daily demonstrations with hundreds of university students who were demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave the country like the Tunisian President Zain Al Abdeen Bin Ali.

On Saturday, January 22, 2011, hundreds of students, loyal to President Saleh’s party, from the same university, organized demonstrations supporting Saleh.

Before being dispersed by the security forces, the two different demonstrations, at the main gate of Sana’a University, were almost to clash as angry demonstrators were chanting slogans against each other.

The students loyal to the opposition parties led by led by Miss Karman were chanting “ Oh, Ali, Ali, go , go, after your friend Bin Ali” in reference to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the deposed Tunisian President Zain Al Abdeen bin Ali.

While the students loyal to the Saleh’s ruling party were chanting “ Ali or death, Ali or death” , “ Oh, Youth , Oh, youth , the Islah is the terrorist”

The chairman of the Union of the Sana’a University students, Redhwan Al Masodi, criticized Tawakul Karman for using the university students for her political purposes. “The students of Sana’a University refuse being exploited for the interest of one individual or one party,” Al Masodi said.

The Sana’a University issued a statement saying it has nothing to do with the demonstrations being held at its gate . “Political forces with political purposes” were behind the demonstrations, the statement said.

Human rights group condemned the arrest of Miss Karman saying it was a violation of the laws.

The Minister of Interior , Mutahar Rashad Al Mesri, said in a statement Sunday, that his country Yemen is democratic and it allows all kinds of demonstrations “but in the framework” of the constitution and laws.

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