Yemen: government and Transition Council unite to crack down on protesters
Geneva – Yemeni security forces and Southern Transitional Council (CTS) forces killed two people and injured a number of protesters during popular protests in towns in southern Yemen, said the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory of human rights in a statement expressing its deep concern.
Yemeni government security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful demonstrators protesting the deteriorating living conditions in the town of Mukalla, Hadramout governorate, killing young Salem Bugshan, 21, of a direct bullet to the head. Several others were injured.
In turn, STC forces on Thursday killed a young man, Ziad Zaher, in the town of Crater, Aden governorate, and injured several other protesters.
At the beginning of last week, the governorates of southern Yemen witnessed widespread popular protests against high prices and the deterioration of the value of the local currency, which led to a sharp deterioration in the living conditions of the population.
Yemeni security forces and STC forces used excessive force to quell protests without paying any attention to the right of protesters to assemble and express themselves peacefully, as guaranteed by the Yemeni constitution.
As protests escalated, Hadramaut Governor Major General Faraj Al-Bohsani said the Houthi group planned to wreak havoc in the governorate and announced a partial curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the morning until further notice.
STC chairman Adirous Al-Zubaidi declared a state of emergency in the governorates of southern Yemen, ordering his forces not to tolerate the protests in Aden with the “traitors”.
For his part, Nour Olwan, media manager of Euro-Med Monitor said: “We have witnessed major conflicts between the Yemeni government and the STC, including direct fighting, but they are now uniting to suppress the peaceful demonstrations and confiscate the right of Yemenis to assemble peacefully. because they follow a similar approach of defaming protesters to thwart their peaceful protests. “
“The declaration of a state of emergency by the STC in the governorates it controls will pave the way for a worse phase in the repression of demonstrations and the restriction of freedoms, especially after the violent behavior it has confronted with protesters “she said.
Olwan warned against extending the crackdown on popular protests under the pretext of implementing a state of emergency.
The Yemeni government and STC should:
- respect the basic principles relating to respect for the right to express opinions and avoid the use of military force against civilians exhausted by the conflict which has lasted for seven years;
- immediately stop suppressing peaceful demonstrations, respect and protect the right of Yemenis to peaceful assembly and expression, and resort to dialogue with demonstrators instead of suppressing them and sullying their movement; and
- open an investigation into incidents of murder of protesters, identify those responsible, including those who ordered the use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters, and bring them to justice.
Parties involved in the Yemeni crisis, in particular Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, should:
- pressure the Yemeni government and the STC to stop their violations of the rights of Yemenis,
- contribute effectively to the improvement of living and economic conditions in Yemen and end their military intervention in the country which is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
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