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Back Activities Alerts Alert: Yemen: Regime brutalises a united Yemen as Saleh returns from Saudi Arabia

Alert: Yemen: Regime brutalises a united Yemen as Saleh returns from Saudi Arabia

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Saleh

Saleh’s return brings more bloodshed to the streets of Sana’a and other cities.


Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter

1. Summary

Since the week of the 19 September, over 150 rebels and unarmed protesters have been killed by security forces as the Yemeni regime has intensified its hold on Yemen as dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh returns from Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni people have upped their efforts in demonstrating against the return of Saleh, with their demands for political change being met by the regime’s brute force.

Show your solidarity with the Yemeni people by demanding that Saleh steps down immediately, and that Western powers complicit with his regime cease to continue propping him up.

2. Background

Yemen has been the backdrop for anti-government protests throughout the Islamic Awakening in the Middle-East and North African regions. Unfortunately the plight of ordinary Yemenis has been swept under the rug by the mainstream media as it has chosen to focus its attention elsewhere.

Those demonstrating are drawn from all segments of Yemeni society. They include prominent tribesmen, religious leaders, and even soldiers and military officers that have refused to fire on protestors. It is a showing of unity in a country often characterised by tribal and sectarian divisions exacerbated by the regime’s pursuit of power and control; and of outsiders wishing to dominate its geopolitical position. 

20 September saw at least 22 killed and at least 350 injured. Since 19th September, over 150 people have been killed as the government has used anti-aircraft guns, mortar shells and snipers to target protesters.  In one such instance, 16 people were killed as the regime bombed an opposition stronghold in Sana’a, according to a medic at the scene.

On 3 June 2011, Saleh narrowly escaped assassination as an RPG hit his presidential palace in Sana’a. He was able to escape to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment and sanctuary. The particularly intensive campaign of death and destruction has coincided with the return of Saleh to Yemen from Saudi Arabia. He has refused to give up power, and instead offered weak promises of reform.

Close to 2,000 people have been killed by security forces in Yemen since the Islamic awakening began in spring. The regime has used its military and security apparatus to brutally suppress anyone calling for Saleh to stand down; for his regime to be dissolved; or for free elections to be held. It has indicated that it will not accept the course of liberation that the Yemeni people have taken without a fight.

3. Action Required

IHRC requests its campaigners and supporters to write letters and emails to the Yemeni ambassador to their country, and their foreign minister; demanding that they relay your outrage to the Yemeni regime, or cease propping up Saleh.

4. Sample letter
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a)    Yemeni Ambassador to the UK, Abdullah al-Radhi.

[Your name]
[Your address]

Mr Abdullah al-Radhi
57 Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London
SW7 2ED
United Kingdom

[Date]

Dear Mr al-Radhi,

Re: The ruthless suppression of protests over Saleh’s return to Yemen.

In the past few weeks your government has escalated its policy of violently suppressing all political opposition. This has taken place in the context of the return of President Ali Abdullah Saleh from Saudi Arabia, and appears to be a part of efforts to facilitate his resumption of power.

Many reliable sources inside Yemen have testified to over 150 people being killed in the past week alone, and scores more injured, by your government’s armed security forces and military. Many of these have died from sniper fire, aerial bombardment and mortar shelling.

I am absolutely shocked at the indiscriminate use of force by your country’s armed forces and security personnel. As the Yemeni people have joined together – regardless of tribal, sectarian or religious affiliation – in order to announce their grievances with Saleh’s undemocratic and unjust political policies, the only response of the regime seems to be of shedding more blood.

As you are the Yemeni ambassador to the UK, I demand that you relay to President Ali Abdullah Saleh my feelings of disgust and horror at the violence being perpetrated by your government against peaceful protesters. Silence will merely confound your complicity in the campaign of terror, which serves the patently futile end of propping up a dictator who enjoys no legitimacy among his people.

Please respond in order to address these concerns.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

b)    Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

Rt Hon. William Hague MP,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London,
SW1A 2AH,
United Kingdom.

[Date]

Dear Mr Hague,

Re: The ruthless suppression of protests over Saleh’s return to Yemen.

In the past few weeks the Yemeni regime has escalated its campaign of violently suppressing all political opposition. This has taken place in the context of the return of President Ali Abdullah Saleh from Saudi Arabia, and appears to be a part of efforts to facilitate his resumption of power.

Many reliable sources inside Yemen have testified to over 150 people being killed in the past week alone, and scores more injured, by the government’s armed security forces and military. Many of these have died from sniper fire, aerial bombardment and mortar shelling.

I am absolutely shocked at the indiscriminate use of force by Yemen’s armed forces and security personnel. The Yemeni people have joined together – in spite of internal and external attempts to exacerbate tribal, sectarian or religious differences – in order to struggle against Saleh’s undemocratic and unjust political policies. Yet the only response of the regime seems to be one of shedding more of its people’s blood. All that has been offered thus far on it has been in the form of words of cautions.

As the UK’s foreign minister, I demand that you pressure President Ali Abdullah Saleh to immediately cease the horrific violence being perpetrated against peaceful protesters. Silence will merely confound your complicity in the campaign of terror, which serves the patently futile end of propping up a dictator who enjoys no legitimacy among his people. It will also confirm the suspicions of many that Yemen is but another state whose regime’s cosy relationship with British elites has made it an exception to Britain’s support for regime change in the region.

Why do you continue your policy of neo-colonialism by cultivating your pet dictators?

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

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Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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