September 05, 2007

Yemen's Democracy: Death Penalty for a Slogan

Demonstrations that began in May are continuing in Yemen as the regime takes increasingly repressive and violent measure to quell dissent.

Security forces made mass arrests of demonstrators, prompting more demonstrations. A new law criminalizes slogans. A newspaper is facing terrorism charges for reporting war news in the Sa'ada War. A top member of the Yemeni Socialist Party has been "seized" by security forces.

(AP) Riot police fired bullets and used tear gas and water cannons Tuesday to disperse thousands of protesters demanding the release of more than 200 veterans and their sympathizers detained for protesting earlier this month, a police official said.

The protesters are mostly southern Yemeni veterans who lost their jobs after a defeat by northern forces in a civil war 13 years ago.

Yemen's top security body warned that "any party, movement, group or individual who stages or carries slogans that put national unity in peril, or calls for destruction of national unity, will be tried as a traitor."

Traitors face the death penalty under Yemen's constitution.

By Jane at 06:59 AM | Comments |