Women activists file complaint against sheikh Hameed Al-Ahmar, his office denies the claim
Balkees Al-Habi, Huda Al-Hababi, Nadia Al-Kwkabani, Samah Al-Shadari and Arwa Othman submitted the complaint to West of the Capital City Court.
“We chose Fyrooz Al-Harazi as our lawyer to handle the case in court against Al-Ahma,” Al-Habi said.
She said they gave Al-Ahmar time to withdraw his “slanderous” words, spoken in an interview with the New York Times.
The article, “Yemen’s Many Factions Wait Impatiently for a Resolution,” includes a comment by Al-Ahmar regarding Islah party violations by women in the square.
He is quoted as saying, “There was bad behavior, which turned the square into a discotheque! Those women wanted to go hand in hand with their boyfriends as lovers in the demonstrations. This is not right and is against our religion.”
According to the report, Al-Ahmar insulted only the non-Islah party women
To date, Al-Ahmar has not apologized, according to Al-Habi.
Al-Habi said the activists insist on just punishment in accordance with the law, namely two-year imprisonment in addition to a fine.
Al-Ahmar’s office denied the claim, saying he didn’t insult women in the square.
“In order to prove his denial, words of apology should be published in the same newspaper and in the same space,” Al-Habi said.
Sana'a University professor Nadia Al-Kwkaban said Al-Ahmar pays no attention to the complaint because he is a member of parliament and holds immunity according to Yemeni law.
“Al-Ahmar believes nobody has the right to investigate him,” she said.
She said the incident exemplifies how Yemeni sheiks act above law.
The group staged a protest in front of the parliament compound to demand the removal of Al-Ahmar's immunity.
Al-Kwkabani said women played a major role in overthrowing former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime.
“Now we are in a time full of revolutions, and we hope that the judiciary system will treat us fairly. This is one of the revolution's objectives. If no action is taken to defend us, then we will spark a new revolution against anyone attempting to foil the establishment of a civil state,” she said.
Al-Kwkabani said Yemeni female activists who filed the complaint are politically independent.
Yemen Times was unable to reach Al-Ahmar for comment.