Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In solidarity with Human Rights Activist, Arwa Othman Who's Facing Death-Threats

Arwa Othman was one of the members of the National
Dialogue Conference and headed the Freedoms Committee. 

Multi-award winner, Yemeni Human Rights activist, Arwa Othman stated today that she received death threats to her Facebook inbox by individuals, believed to be affiliated to Al Houthi group, because of her critique to their recent weaponry power. As a response, Arwa decided to report the incident to Yemen's Public Prosecutor, and post the report on her Facebook wall, so whatever will happen to her shall be in the public eyes.

I asked Arwa about the threats and she confirmed to me that she received the threats early in the morning, today. She said, “I thought it was nothing important and there was no need to share them with the public. However, I became extremely worried when the threats were against my daughters as well.”

Snapshot from Arwa's wall: she posted a selection of
the threats sent to her & her daughters' FB inboxes. 

Accordingly, Arwa shared on her Facebook page snapshots of the threat messages sent to her and her daughters' inboxes. Arwa told me that after consulting friends and other journalists about what to do, they all advised her to report the incident to Yemen's public prosecutor. Indeed, Arwa did so and she also shared the letter on her Facebook along with those snapshots. The report goes like this:

Report To The Public Prosecutor

Dear Mr. Public Prosecutor
I have not done more than posting a photo of cobbler and the armed group, a picture taken from popular online websites, (the photos were not taken by me).. and then I happened to receive orders to remove the pictures because the armed group are “sheikhs and honorary and nationalists”.. even my daughters received messages about eliminating me.

Hence, I thought to report this to you. God only knows that since 2011, I have been receiving smearing campaigns, and I have been accused of blasphemy, I have been subjected to slander in my honor – and I have remained silent about all that. But today, the threats are directed towards my daughters. This must not be tolerated, any longer.”

Since 2011, Arwa Othman has been facing different kinds of threats; smearing campaign and even physical assault for her activism and critical writings against any and every oppressive political power in the country. She's not only one of the strongest women voices, but also one of the most dedicated and veteran activists across the country. Given the lack of any protection provided by the state - if anything happens to her this time, Al-Houthi group takes full responsibility, as she has been fearless critical voice against their acts since their takeover of most parts of Yemen, in 21 September, 2014.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yemen's Electricity Ministry's Employee Acid Attacked

Yemen's Electricity and Energy Ministry has always been notorious for its corruption. It won't be an exaggeration to say that it is the top ministry which has the biggest negative impact on the citizens with it's utter bad performance. It's responsible of handling all those incidents when the country gets in total blackout. On the news the blackouts are reported as caused by some tribal attacks. That's not necessarily true. There is a huge element of corruption in the ministry, in which electricity has became a powerful card to pressurize the citizens. Accordingly, and thankfully, a group of Yemeni activists have been mobilizing the people and campaigning against the ministry's corruption and the blackouts, with a campaign established in June 2013 named, 'Menawera ya Hokoma w al Sha'ab tafi'.

One of the active members in the action and also an employee at the ministry, Adnan Al-Madani had to pay a painful price for his courage and activity. On "September 7th, 2014 at eight o’clock in the morning while he was on his way to the headquarters of the Ministry, an acid has been thrown to Adnan’s face by unidentified people who were riding a motorcycle and fled after1."

"Adnan Al-Madani is the victim of corruption." via Bassam Hassan

The unfortunate incident was captured by a surveillance camera in a nearby building2:

I asked one of the members in the campaign, Ghada Al-Wazeer if she knows Adnan in person? "yes, I do know him personally," she replied, "he was the one giving us all the corruption-related documents, and before I left to the US, we organized an event at the Basement with him."

"I believe he was targeted because of his activism in the campaign. Plus, he has been threatened many times and the last time was 2 days before the incident, and other employees at the ministry who are following up the Adnan's case are being threatened now."

Adnan has been hospitalized to Jordan and he remains in a critical condition. His colleagues at the ministry try to send him moral support through their Facebook page here.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

South's Independence Day Revives Hirak Movement

From today's massive celebration. 

A lady holding the old southern's passport.

And the following video is from the yesterday's prepartions for today's anniversary celebration:

Shia rebels seize control of port city and province in Yemen

"Shia rebels who recently overran Yemen’s capital seized control of a key port city on the Red Sea and a province south of Sana’a on Tuesday.

The development indicates that the rebels, known as the Houthis, may be determined to carve out a mini-state within Yemen, taking advantage of the weakness of the central government and the disarray in the army and security forces.

The Houthis, who are widely believed to be supported by Iran, already control the provinces of Saada and Omran north of the capital.

On Tuesday, they pushed into the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, west of Sana’a, and the capital of a province with the same name, which they have besieged for days.." - AP


Funeral for last week's victims

Today, a grand funeral was held for the victims of last week's bombing attack in Tahrir square. Rest in peace!