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Youth protesters attacked by Islah members in Change Square By: Shada Al-Harazi

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SANA’A, June 15 — Violence against independent youth protesters increased this week with both the first armored division and members of the Islah Party attempting to disrupt a march by youth against the acting president’s house. On Tuesday June 14th, members of the independent youth marched for the third time to the acting president’s house with the plan to hold a three day sit-in until he listened to their demands and form a transitional council. “This is the worst violence I have witnessed since the revolution started,” said Afra’a Al-Habori, one of the march organizers. “We used to be attacked by the central security forces, but today it was from those who we thought were with us, the organizing committee.” “When we first went from Change Square to Al-Siteen [where the acting president’s house is] at four o’clock, the organizing committee misled the youth by telling them that the march was canceled.” Al-Habori said that almost a hundred youth managed to join the march. The first armored division, who is protecting the acting president’s house, opened the road for cars to pass which exposed the youth to danger. The first division called on the youth to disperse. The organizing committee [comprised of Islah members], then put pressure on the youth to go back to the square and stop the march. “We marched against the organizing committee from Al-Siteen to the stage at the square saying ‘freedom freedom we need a revolutionary organizing committee’. This provoked the committee, and they took iron stakes, electrical stakes and beat us,” she added. “Islah is trying to prevent us from escalating as they are being pressured by the Saudis to apply the GCC initiative,” said Al-Habori. The youth vowed to escalate and protect the revolution’s objectives from whoever aims to co-opt it or hold a coup against it. They are insisting on the formation of a transitional council to rule the country in the coming period, and demanding that the remaining members of the old regime stand down. A government representative, however, stated that Ali Abdullah Saleh is still the legitimate president of Yemen, and that he will return from Saudi Arabia as soon as doctors say he has recovered from wounds sustained in an attack against him on June 3rd. In the political tent at ‘Change Square’, a youth group called the ‘Youth of Decision’ held a press conference calling on the independent youth to gather and act apart from the the political parties and the current government. Leaders from the Joint Meeting Parties – a coalition of opposition parties – held a closed meeting with Abdu Raboo Mansur Hadi, the acting president, on Monday discussing ways of transferring power peacefully. “Any deals in closed rooms are not acceptable at all. We have been in the street for months now, and these political parties are trying to gain advantage from our achievements,” said one of the protesters. On June 8th, the first armored division, who had previously vowed to protect youth protesters, attacked a youth sit-in outside the acting president’s residence that had begun on June 7th. This was the second sit-in organized by the youth, but was dispersed by soldiers firing in the air with live rounds and beating the protesters. A spokesman from the first armored division who wished to remain anonymous said that the crowd that was dispersed were not peaceful protesters, but thugs that were armed with guns and bombs. Some other protesters think the split between the political parties and the youth is good for the revolution, so as to correct its way. Amen Dabwan, an independent youth leader, said the youth are intelligent and aware of what’s happening around them. The more they feel that the revolution is stolen, the more they will escalate and react. “The limit of the revolution is the collapse of the whole regime, and the Islah Party is a part of it. They have been opposing the regime without condemning any corruption. They are as corrupt as the regime itself,” said Dabwan. “The organizing committee takes their orders from the Islah Party and attacks the youth.” Ahmed Al-Zurqa, a political analyst, told the Yemen Times that the Joint Meeting Parties have lost control of the situation. “There is so much selfishness from all the parties that announced their solidarity with the youth revolution. The JMP, the soldiers, the tribes. But the youth should take the lead from now on.” Despite the attacks against them, the independent youth said they will continue marching and demanding a transitional council.


Written by shatha

June 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Violation

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