Injured revolutionaries continue sit-in and hunger strike in Sana’a
SANA’A, Feb. 3 — Run over by a military vehicle in front of Al-Shab School in Taiz during a protest in 2011, Taha Mohammed Al-Ariqi, an injured revolutionary, passed away on Friday.
Since then, a group of injured revolutionaries have stationed themselves in front of the Cabinet office, calling on the government to provide them with financial assistance to receive treatment abroad. The group of injured came armed with medical records attesting to their need of treatment outside of Yemen.
The group also demanded implementation of a court ruling that stipulated those injured in protests in 2011 were eligible for treatment at the government's expense.
Abduelah Mohammed Abdulmughani, an injured revolutionary, told the Yemen Times that they are protesting against discrimination and inequality with application of the court's ruling. The protesters say some people have received preferential treatment and access to health care because of their ideological background or connections.
Ahmed Saif Hashid, a member of Parliament, said the government is accustomed to making promises but rarely makes good on them.
“Because of this, we organized a protest that calls for the hospitalization of gravely injured revolutionaries overseas without further delay,” he said.
Hashid stated that the protest would not end until their demands are met.
He added that although there is a committee tasked with treating injured revolutionaries, the Finance Ministry paid YR 2 billoin to the Wafa Foundation, an organization that belongs to the Islah Party, to provide medical aid.
“This is extortion exercised by the finance minister,” he said.
He claimed that Wafa Foundation is partisan and offered care based on partisan criteria, such as political affiliation during the revolution and religious differences.
Tawakul Karaman, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, visited the protest and immediately burst into tears at the sight of the injured individuals. She proclaimed her full solidarity with them, blaming the government for not taking action to mitigate their suffering.
In return, Shawqi Al-Maimoni, the head of the Martyrs’ Families Administration Council in Wafa Foundation, said the foundation is with the youth revolution, and is not associated with any party.
He added, the foundation has not received any money from the Finance Ministry, and that the role of the foundation is to coordinate between the families of martyrs or injured individuals and the Finance Ministry in order offer small sums of money to them in compensation for their loss. This money is a matter of consolation and is not allocated for the purpose of treatment.
Given that the injured protesters have a judicial verdict, which states the government is responsible for treating them, they should be patient and wait for the visas to be issued, stated Al-Maimoni.