Boy found dead in Akhdam community

Published on 31 December 2012 in News
Sadeq Al-Wesabi (author)

Sadeq Al-Wesabi


SANA’A — An 11-year-old boy from the marginalized community, known as Akhdam, was found hanging dead in the Bani Al-Harith area in Sana’a on Tuesday.

Bashir Salem Saeed was strangled to death and hanged on the window of an uninhabited building, according to First Lieutenant Abdul-Qader Wajih Al-Din, the head of Criminal Investigation Unit in the 30 November Police Station.

 “Bashir’s corpse was found hanged in a cruel manner,” he said.  

“We called the boys who used to spend time with Bashir. Through investigations it was determined that a 15-year-old boy invited Bashir to the uninhabited building. [Investigations indicate] he strangled the boy and tried to disguise the crime as a suicide,” Wajih Al-Din said.

Police believe the motive for the crime was revenge. Four months prior Bashir testified against his alleged murderer in a robbery case, according to Wajih Al-Din.  The suspected murderer served seven months in prison.  

“It’s the first crime of its kind in this area,” Wajih Al-Din said.

Salem Saeed, the victim’s father, told Yemen Times that his son had been missing for three days before the body was found.

“He used to collect empty water bottles to help me support the family,” he said. “He was making between YR200 and 300 (less than $2) a day to buy bread for us.”

“I’ll not bury my son until they kill the murderer,” he added.

Rahil Al-Marzoqi, a youth activist and a former member of the Children’s Parliament, said the Akhdam will hold massive protests if the government does “not bring the killer to justice.”

“If Bashir was backed by influential tribal sheikhs, he would not have been killed,” she said.

Mohammed Rashid, a local member of the marginalized community, called the crime heinous and unforgivable.

“The marginalized people are untouchable in this country,” he said. “But we will not be silent anymore and we will defend our rights to stop others from degrading us.”

In recent years dozens killings, rapes and assaults of marginalized people have been reported.

Fuad Alawi, the head of Sawa’a Organization for Anti-Discrimination, said it is not the first time children from vulnerable groups like the Akhdam have been subject to inhumane treatment.

“Due to absence of advocacy for them, the marginalized people have been perpetrated,” he said. “Unfortunately, violators of human rights always escape punishment.”