Thursday, January 29, 2009

Only four Yemen families move amid harassment

Photo: Saba News

Only four Jewish families have moved from Amran province to Sana'a, where the government has promised them a house and 2 million Yemeni rials each (about $10,000). The remainder, who are still being harassed and threatened in Amran, grumble that the accommodation offered is too small:


SANA'A, Jan. 28 (Saba) – "Four Jewish families have arrived in Sana'a coming from Amran province launching the relocation of Jews to the city, a spokesman for head of the Parliament Committee on Freedoms and Rights.

"As they arrived they were handed over four houses at the Sa'awan Tourist City, the spokesman said.

"Among the arriving Jewish families was the family of the Jew who was murdered (in December) in the district of Raidah in Amran by an ex-pilot, a Jewish source said.

"However, the four Jewish families have not yet settled in their new houses in Sana'a as they are being equipped.

"Meanwhile, Jews are trying to convince authorities that houses allocated for them in the Sa'awan Tourist City are not suitable as they will not be sufficient to accommodate all Jews families.

"A Jewish household consists of at least 16 members.

"Moreover, many Jewish families in Amran refuse to move to new houses in Sana'a claiming there are not a warship place (sic) and a school to teach children.

"In this regard, the spokesman said that all issues relating to the relocation were discussed with Jewish representatives last week."


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The Yemen Times reports that a local human rights organisation, HOOD, has so far failed in its bid to get the trial of the suspect accused of the murder of Moshe al-Nahari moved to Sana'a:

"Concerning the murder of the Jewish citizen Masha Ya'ish Al-Nihari, Khaled Al-Anisi, secretary general of the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, also known as HOOD, which volunteered to defend the Jewish citizens in Yemen as a minority, told the Yemen Times that the Attorney General didn't accept the demand of HOOD to move the court hearings from Amran to Sana'a under the pretext that such a procedure can be taken only by the Minister of Justice. Al-Anisi said that the Minister of Justice hasn’t given them any response yet.

"Our demand is legal. We requested to change the place of court hearings to Sana'a as security authorities in Amran couldn’t maintain security there and prevent threats of murder that relatives of the murderer cast against Al-Nihari's family," said Al-Anisi. "We want to tackle the situation of the Yemeni Jews on a national basis. This includes providing absolute justice that is guaranteed by Islam. This justice also preserves the safety and property of all Yemeni citizens, regardless of their religion or their beliefs."

"Al-Anisi added that Yemeni Jews are afraid of the threats they receive from extremists who are protected by sheiks. "A well-known man protected by Kahlan bin Mujahed Abu Shawareb intimidates Jews in Amran,” he said. “He threatens them and he hasn’t been arrested so far despite the President's directives to arrest all those who harm Yemeni Jews. There is something going on in secret which we don’t understand in this respect!"

"Observers concerned with affairs in Yemen said that "some influential individuals may be preparing to seize the property of the Yemeni Jews and expel them from the country, as they did with their ancestors in Yemen.”(My emphasis -ed)

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