Saturday, September 27, 2014

The limits of the ‘sectarian’ framing in Yemen

Courtesy/ Bilal Ahmed

On why the Huthis' move in Yemen is more than a sectarian one, professor Yadav writes:

"So when I say that this conflict can’t be glossed as sectarian, I don’t mean to suggest that religious conviction is irrelevant to the Houthi movement or its relationship to Islah or to the Yemeni government. Instead, it is important to investigate the meaning of “sectarian” concepts of good governance and opposition to corruption, and question whether these are (or, more to the point, are not) consistent with existing institutions and governing practices by Yemen’s transitional government....." read more.

Will Yemen's new peace deal last?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sana'a's 5-days fightings aftermath

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fearless Human Rights advocate and writer, Arwa Othman honored

Once again, Yemeni women prove their strength in defining strains and their remarkable rigorous work in improving their communities. This time, one of Yemen's leading Human Rights advocates, Arwa Othman has been selected as one of the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Othman, born in Taiz, is on one hand admired by many for her activism and her unconditional solidarity with vulnerable groups - she's a great supporter for minorities' rights in Yemen, i.e. Jews and Muhamasheen. On the other hand, she has been targeted whether through smearing campaigns and/or physical assaults by conservative groups for her outspoken, and sometimes secular, stances against fundamentalism and patriarchy. Othman has always shown powerful critic against religious leaders and corrupt politicians.  

Othman is known for forthright and outspoken writings by her real name which was not the case when she started off writing columns in the local press - she wrote in disguise between 1982-1984. Since then till today, she has published several short stories collections, has been awarded several awards for her literary work and activism, and most importantly, she has been a prolific columnist. 

Here are few stops in Arwa Othman's path in advocating for dignity and human rights:-

(Jan. 2010) an interview with Othman in regard of her establishment the House of Folklore. (read more)

(Apr. 2011) Othman along with women protesters get physically assaulted during a "mixed" rally in Sana'a. (Ar. read more)

(Dec. 2011) Othman receives the 28th international Minerva Anna Maria Mammoliti prize awarded by the Il Club delle Donne association of Italy. (read more)

(Mar. 2013) Othman heads the the Rights and Freedoms Working Group at Yemen's National Dialogue Conference and becomes one of the strong voices in denouncing child marriage issues in Yemen. Watch her speech in the NDC's opening:

And the list goes on.

Arwa Othman is truly one of Yemen's brave voices against human rights violations and a diligent advocate for human dignity in the country. The prize is well-deserved and I wish she gets the proper recognition she deserves in the coming government.

If you're impressed by Othman, you need to know about Bushra Al-Maqtary.

And I'm very proud that Arwa Othamn took a photo of me in "the men's cafe" in Sana'a, 2011. ♥ 

Security forces opened fire with live ammunition without warning against unarmed protesters

*We urge the authorities in Yemen to conduct an independent, prompt and effective investigation into the killing of nine people in Sana’a during the protests that took place on 7 and 9 September. A further 67 people were reported injured, including 33 by live ammunition and others as a result of use of tear gas.

According to interviews conducted by the UN Human Rights Office with injured protestors and witnesses in Sana’a, the protestors were armed only with sticks, stones and umbrellas, and security forces opened fire with live ammunition without warning. To date, no official investigation has been initiated into the alleged excessive use of force. Those killed included a farmer, an ambulance driver, an airport worker and students.

As Yemen faces various internal challenges, it is more crucial than ever that violations of international human rights law are not swept under the carpet. A prompt, impartial investigation will send a strong signal of deterrence to perpetrators of such violations and ensure that victims’ right to justice and remedy is upheld.

We call on all sides of the political divide in Yemen to renounce the use of violence and to participate in the ongoing national processes in order to avoid further instability and bloodshed.

Source: OHCHR