Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Justice, Yemeni-style

More details of the harassment of the victim's relatives at the trial of the man accused of murdering Moshe (Masha) al-Nahari have emerged in The Yemen Times. But the response of the few hundred Jews of Amran province to the government's offer of more secure homes in the Sana'a area has been lukewarm.

Lawyers of Masha’s family demanded the transfer of the trial from the Criminal Specialized Court in Amran to Sana’a on grounds of fear from being attacked by Al-Abdi’s tribe who showed harmful intentions towards the Jewish minority according to both Muslim and Jewish locals.

During court sessions the Jews were advised to hide their plaits so as not to be recognized and attacked. During one aggressive incident against the Jews, the judge imprisoned five of aggressors from Al-Abdi tribe, but they were released after a few hours without bail. Furthermore, according to Al-Anesi, the court did not send soldiers with the Jews to protect them during their journey back and forth to the trial sessions. The lawyers had to escort them to ensure their safety.

No response was received from the general prosecution or the Ministry of Justice concerning the court transfer’s request. Dr. Abdullah Al-Olfi, the general prosecutor, said that the transfer request is pending review by Justice Minister Ghazi Al-Aghbari, who wanted an official letter before responding to the query on the transfer.

People put in charge of managing living places for Jews such as Mohammed Bin Naji al-Shaif, the head of the human rights commission in the Parliament, denied that the places are small for the Jews. “We devoted 54 houses for 42 families, which means that extra housing can be used for the bigger families,” Al-Shaif said.

Al-Shaif said that the Jews did not come because they don’t want to leave their houses. “Four families took their keys and went back,” he said.

Al-Anesi and Taha blamed the public mass media, which generalized what happened in Gaza as being the fault of all Jews. Political parties and religious scholars stood still in this issue Al-Anesi stated, who said that he contacted all of them to help the Yemeni Jews. He added, “This is not a political issue, or international. It is Yemeni."

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