Political assassin escapes from prison

Published on 6 February 2012 in News
Abdulkarim Al-Nahari (author)

Abdulkarim Al-Nahari


DHAMAR - prisoner involved in plotting the assassination of Dhamar deputy governor Abdulkarim Dhafan last December was smuggled out of prison last Wednesday in an escape that some believe was aided by prison guards.

Dhafan, who belonged to the former GPC ruling party, is the former head of the Yemeni Youth Union in Dhamar as well as being an active politician who had made enemies among opposition and local groups, including Sheikh Shaje’ Al-Shaghdari, a prominent opposition figure in the city.

This sheikh is on the Ministry of interior’s black list of people prevented from leaving the country.

Police are currently investigating the escape with initial results showing that he simply left the prison using the front gate, according to a source in the investigation committee.

The prisoner, Mubarak Al-Arami, reportedly bribed prison guards with large sums of money who then facilitated his escape. Al-Arami has strong connections in Dhamar which he used in plotting the assassination of the deputy governor in December by monitoring his movements and remotely disabling his cell phone.

The source in the investigation committee said that the escape happened three days after a decree by the Minister of Interior ordering the removal of the prison’s warden Ali Al-Ofairi and replacing him with another warden with a better track record.

However, there had been resentment of this decision as a member of the local council explained that the former warden managed to stop at least three escape attempts in December that claimed the life of four prisoners and injured many others. In the latest incident towards the end of December, the prisoners managed to break through the interior gates of the prison.

“This is the reward he gets!” said the member of local council sarcastically. He added that the escape was meant to keep evidence of those behind the assassination from surfacing. He also stated the he believed members of the opposition, specifically the Islah party, was behind the assassination.

A security guard at the prison told the Yemen Times that Al-Arami was detained in the exterior cells of the prison since the investigation was not complete and he was waiting to be charged. Al-Arami was detained along with two of his accomplices.