I had the opportunity to visit Yemen a few years ago as part of a WITNESS partner training and I heard first-hand from human rights activists and citizens how the government has failed to ensure basic human rights in the country. Issues included conditions ranging from a lack of freedom of expression and access to basic resources to systemic corruption and high unemployment.
Mr. Ammar Basha created this important, timely video I hope you will watch. Basha is a Yemeni rights activist who WITNESS trained in video advocacy and gave a video camera to a few years ago. It was filmed during a massive demonstration in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital city, on March 6, 2011.
“Yemen: One Day in the Heart of the Revolution”:
It is a great video example because it highlights a variety of voices with messages as to why these citizens are demonstrating and why they want regime change. Also it shows how the government is using violence to try and quiet the demonstrators – including sniper fire on public speakers, tear gas, beatings and abuse.
Yesterday, President Ali Abdalah Saleh refused to sign the deal reached with the Gulf Cooperation Council and US mediation between him and the opposition to peacefully transition and step down. Gun battles erupted in Sana’a against protesters, the escalation of the violence seems to be inevitable and will cost many lives.
The situation in Yemen is very concerning, the country might be heading toward a civil war but so far the protesters have vowed to continue demonstrating peacefully. I suggest you follow Basha’s YouTube channel to see more videos coming out of Yemen.