Yemen jails southern activists

Yemen's special security court handed out jail sentences to two more southern activists yesterday.

Fady Hassan Baoum, a member of the opposition Socialist Party's poliburo was sentenced to five years for "inciting violence and hatred with the aim of undermining national unity".

Hussein Muthana al Akil, a professor at Aden University, was sentenced to three years for publishing “false information and inciting an armed disobedience and committing crimes aimed at harming national unity as well as abusing the president of the republic”. He was said to have written that “the northern occupation forces are looting the oil of the south”.

On Sunday, Qassim Askar Jubran, a former Yemeni ambassador to Mauritania, was jailed for five years for "inciting an armed disobedience and committing crimes aimed at harming national unity".

Last week, Ahmed Bamualem, a former MP, was sentenced to 10 years in jail and Ali al Saadi, a retired military general, was jailed for 15 months.

Meanwhile, protests continue in the south. More than 30 people were reportedly injured and 60 arrested in Lahej on Saturday at the funeral of Saif Ali Sa’eed who was killed during a separatist demonstration on March 11. 

The funeral apears not to have been completed: the Yemen Times says the security forces made mourners return Sa'eed's body to the morturary at Al-Nasr Public Hospital. The paper adds that a doctor and technician at the hospital were arrested "to prevent them from treating the injured protesters".

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 31 March 2010.