Call to release abducted protesters
The march was part of the escalation plan by protesters calling for an end to the current regime. In the past, anti-government marches have faced repression and attack by thugs but the last two have been safe.
The march came after more protesters faced the threat of being kidnap by intelligence security forces, On Sunday, there was also a campaign highlighting the fact that a youth activist had disappeared; protesters claimed he was kidnapped last week.
Activist Ammar Al-Saqqaf, a member of Dignity Coalition at Change Square, where anti-government protests have been taken place since February, was reported kidnapped on Tuesday.
According to activist Samia Al-Hadad who was last with Al-Saqqaf on Tuesday, October 23 on his way to Change Square by Al-Dayri Street, “The last we knew before Al-Saqqaf was kidnapped is that he was dragged away by two people known for their suspicious activities against the youth” said Al-Hadad.
Al-Saqqaf, whom his family and friends have been trying to call since Tuesday with no response.
He was also one of youth negotiators with the United Nations Envoy Jamal Bin Omar who was responsible for putting together a report on Yemen for the Security Council.
Right before his disappearance, Al-Saqqaf was working on compiling a list of independent activists and reporters to network with the mainstream media.
According to the Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms [HOOD], which works on reporting violations against protesters since the uprising began, 22 missing protesters were finally found detained at Al-Islam police station in Bani Hearth near Arhab, where the warfare is ongoing between the state and tribes.
“A father of one of the detainees called us [HOOD] to inform us that 22 protesters are detained,” said Saleem Allaw, a lawyer at HOOD. “The man was contacted by the police station to tell him that his 17-year-old son is detained there.”
Allaw said that large number of protesters are detained in the Central Security jail. Journalist Abdulkareem Thuail, was abducted by national security last month for his work compiling lists of the coalitions and movements in the square and collecting videos of the war in Arhab, though according to Allaw, they were not published.
A campaign called Window to Hop for Freedom, was devoted to highlighting the detainees’ issue and to raise demands for their release. The political detainees started a hunger strike to condemn their detention by the authorities and seek their release.
Although the most recent marches have been safe, violence was reported elsewhere. Al-Jazeera news channel reported that violence had resumed in Sofan and Hasaba neighborhoods in Sana’a between President Saleh’s forces and the Hashid tribal confederation.
Moreover, the violence resumed on Sunday – the deadline set by President Ali Abdullah Saleh for the opposition for dialogue on implementing the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative for power transition in Yemen.
Mohammed Al-Sabri, a leader of the Joint Meeting Parties, told the
Yemen Times that the three day limit that Saleh set on Friday for the JMP means nothing to them. He said Saleh needed to sign the Initiative first, considering the new terms it includes, and describing it as a new initiative.
“We do not care of his deadline, the man [Saleh] is politically dead,” said Al-Sabri.