Sunday, 17 April 2011

Islamists not us prevent women from public participation, President Saleh says

Four women beaten up by extremists for marching with men.

Three journalists receive death threats for criticizing Al Zandani.

Liberal groups condemn beating up women for marching with men.

By Nasser Arrabyee/17/04/2011

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that women have all rights and freedoms like men to contribute to development of their country.

This came after additional anti-Saleh demonstrations were staged over the last two days by opposition women who accused Saleh of hurting their honor when he previously called for separating women from men in the sit-in squares.

The opposition women considered Saleh’s ‘religious advice’ as a sign of doubt about their morals and something that hurts their honor.

“ We are not doubting about our women, but we are afraid for them from the bad men,” Saleh told thousands of women of his supporters who came to his Palace to express their support for him.

“I was just wondering how they (the Islamists) they allow their women to be with the protesters in the streets while they say it’s forbidden for women to be with men in place,” Saleh said.

“They always exploit women only for votes and not participating, but we want women to participate with men as ministers and ambassadors and everything like men.”

Over the last two days, Islamist extremists started to prevent liberal women from marching with men.

At least four women activists were beaten up and 8 men were arrested by extremists for walking together in a march demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a human right activist said Sunday.

“Extremists from the Islamist party, Islah, and soldiers from the defected troops of general Ali Muhsen have mercilessly beaten up the women and men who were marching together late Saturday nearby the university,” said the human right activists, Abdul Rashid Al Faqih.

“No activists in the history of modern Yemen have been beaten up like these women activists,” said Al Faqih who is also chairman of Dialogue Forum, a local NGO.

He referred to liberal women who want to participate equally with men in public issues like the demonstrations.

Arwa Othman, Huda Al Tas, Jamila Ali Raja, Wadad Al Badwi, and Sara Jamal were among the leading liberal women who were beaten up by the Islamist extremists who totally refuse women to do anything together with men, and want them (women) always to be separate from men and from public life.

More than 8 men of those who were participating with the women’s march were arrested by the defected soldiers and put in the custody of the 1st armored division of the defected general of Ali Muhsen.

“The 8 men were released after we made a sit-in at the gate of the defected division,” Said Abdul Rashid.

“We refuse such barbaric style of the extremists, and we’ll continue our marches and protests in our way, and everyone has the right to struggle in his or her way,” Al Faqih added.

The anti-Saleh Islamist protesters try to impose their way on other liberal protesters from the very beginning of the 3 months old protests that demand the ouster of President Saleh.

The Islamist became even harder on the liberal protesters after the Islamist-oriented general Ali Mushen declared his support for the anti-Saleh protests. The troops of Ali Muhsen help the extremists by putting unwanted protesters in prisons.

To this end, the Yemeni general prosecutor ordered on Sunday investigations into a complaint by hundreds of women who claimed that President Ali Abdullah Saleh had defamed them in his speech last Friday.

Some women protesters got angry from President Saleh when he said last Friday “We call for separating women from men in the sit-in squares, because this is not Islamic.”

The anti-Saleh protesters totally refused Saleh’s statements about women and considered them against honor, although the majority of them (Islamists) agree with Saleh to separate women from men.

Meanwhile, three journalists were threatened to be killed and hanged if they did not stop writing and criticizing the prominent cleric Abdul Majid Al Zandani who told the protesters earlier that “Keeping in the squares of sit-ins are Jihad and they would be martyrs if they are killed”.

The journalists Abdullah Mohamed Bishr, head of Al Jemhur Establishment for press, and Adel Abdu Bishr, editor-in-chief of Al Jimhur weekly, and Yahya Al Abed, editor-in chief of Sawt Al Omal, sent a letter on Sunday to the general prosecutor and the security agencies to protect them from the alleged serious death threats.

“If you do not stop writing about Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zandani, we will cut your head and hang it at the gate of Al Eyman university,” said the first threat to Abdullah Bishr on Satirday afternoon April 16th, 2011.

“You have three days ultimatum for apologizing to Sheihk Abdul Majid Al Zandani, or you will be headed, and this is not joke, we know your places and all your movements,” said the second the threats to Abdu Bishr And Yahya Al Abed, just minutes after the first threat on the same day.

The three independent journalists called the human rights group to condemn such threats which are against the freedom of press.

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