By Hassan Al-Haifi
26 December 2011
A leading component of the Yemeni peaceful protesters against the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh demand that US Ambassador to Yemen, Mr. Gerald M. Feierstein, be fired from his post and sent back home to the United States "without delay". The US Ambassador reportedly made statements that the Yemeni peaceful Revolutionaries found to be insulting to their dignity and to the millions of Yemenis that come out to support them from every Governorate.
The "Convoy of Life" arrived to Sana'a after a four day march that began in Ta'ez and eventully ended up with over 100,000 who joined with the convoy as it approached Ibb, Dhamar and the hundreds of villages along the way (250 km). Among other things, the Ambassador is said to have called the protesters law breakers and violators of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative, and went on to testify that the protesters were actually armed, when he never even looked at them.
The Convoy of Life is a new initiative created by the peaceful protesters in Freedom Square, Ta'ez, to rejuvenate the Revolution, after the signing of the GCC Initiative in Riyadh on November 23, 2011.
Before the convoy reached Sana'a, government Central Security troops and paramilitary thugs started to attack the convoy in Dar Salm (about 20 km south of Sana'a and stiffened the attack when the convoy was able to reach Sana'a and come to within 2 km of the Presidential Palace, where Ali Abdulla Saleh continues to reside although he has presumably transferred all his authority to Vice President Abdur Rabbo Hadi, as called for by the GCC Initiative. Most Yemenis believe that this transfer is not worth the paper it is written on. The Yemeni youth continue to insist that they are not a party to the GCC Initiaitive as it gives Saleh, his relatives, and cronies immunity from prosecution for human rights violations and all the billions of US dollars, they have all robbed from the Yemeni treasury, and the horrendous corruption that has characterized the Saleh regime, since it came to power in 1978. They conitnue to demand that Saleh stand trial and punishement for all his crimes. The international human rights watchdog groups have all condemned the idea of giving Saleh, his relatives and cronies immunity, which organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even the UN Commission on Human Rights, regard as a dangerous precedent, especially as such immunity is guaranteed by the international community in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2014 on Yemen issued on October 21, 2011, which endorses the GCC Initiative.
Here is the a copy of the letter to be sent to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
name of Allah, the Beneficent – the Merciful
Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Her Excellency, Hillary
Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State in the Obama Administration
Ref: The US Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen is
an Advocate for a Tyrannical Mob and must be Removed Immediately.
December 25, 2011
First of all, please
allow us to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Yemeni people, express to
both of you and the American people our sincere season's greetings and the best
wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year 2012.
The Yemeni people have been carrying out an uprising
against the continuation of the rule of Dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh since the
beginning of 2011. As you are both fully aware, Ali Abdullah Saleh's forces,
which are still commanded by his sons and nephews, still rely on a continuous
excessively brutal reactive response to the growing popular demand for
democratic change in Yemen, which betrays a lack of vision typical of another
age – a by-gone era when suppression of human rights and restricting freedom
and liberty were common practices.
Instead of respecting the legitimate rights of the
Yemeni people to peacefully protest and express themselves, Saleh, his family
and his hired paramilitary thugs continue to mercilessly clamp down on any
peaceful protest demonstration, march or rally. They continue unabashedly to deal with any popular
uprising by randomly and indiscriminately killing unarmed Yemeni citizens with
all kinds of light and heavy weapons.
Yesterday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), doctors at
the Field Hospital in Change Square and other hospitals in Sana'a reported that
13 protesters were ruthlessly killed and over 100 were mercilessly wounded by
trigger-happy Central Security troops and paramilitary thugs under the command
of Saleh's nephew, Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh. Without any reasonable warning, these
mercenaries of death opened
fire at over 100,000 protesters, who have
converged into the Capital, Sana'a, gathering strength as they marched (mostly
on foot) over four days from to Ta'ez to Sana'a, in a convoy called the Convoy
This craving for the bloodletting of innocent
peaceful protesters comes even as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) brokered the
so called "transition deal", backed by your Excellency's
Administration's strong support and guarantees, is presumably being carried out
by the signing parties to the accord.
You should be aware that the peaceful protesting youth and their fellow
Yemeni supporters, who continuously still come out by the millions, were not
party to such an unprecedented feat of political engineering drawn up mainly by
despotic tyrants. Thus, the
constitutional rights of Yemenis to continue to demand genuine democratic
changes in the way the Yemeni people are governed after 33 years of harsh
dictatorship are legitimately guaranteed by the Yemeni Constitution,
international agreements and conventions and even the recently issued United
Nations Security Council Resolution 2014 on Yemen issued on 21 October 2011.
At the very same time that Saleh's murderer's were
carrying out their bloodbath against the convoy in Dar Salm and on the southern
periphery of Sana'a, the Yemeni people were awed by shocking statements made by
your Ambassador to Yemen, Mr. Gerald M. Feierstein. The statements, which defy all principles of
diplomatic protocol, actually went on to actually condemn the victims of this
most recent of Saleh's heinous massacres.
Mr. Feierstein stated, among other things, without any shred of evidence
that the peaceful convoy was armed and that the convoy was a violation of the
GCC Initiative. Mr. Feierstein surely
knows that the majority of Yemenis, led by the peaceful youth protesters, oppose
and are not in any way represented thereto by any signatory. The major international and local press
have shown the horror of this massacre and also pointed out the reaction of the
Yemeni people to the inflammatory statements of the US Ambassador, as this link
clearly details: Forces Loyal to Yemeni President
Fire on Protesters - New York Times.
Almost from the start of his tenure in Yemen,
Ambassador Feierstein has never been very cordial with his personal (we
certainly would hope that they are not viewed as official US views, accepted by
your Administration) disappointing declarations on Yemen and the Yemeni people,
and Feierstein's mostly defensive stances with the tyrannical Saleh
On behalf of the millions of protesting Yemeni
people peacefully demanding a comprehensive regime change in Yemen, the
Coordinating Council of Yemeni Revolution for Change (CCYRC), we are obliged to
inform Your Excellencies that the hostile statements by the US Ambassador to
Yemen yesterday on the peaceful convoy and its resulting bloodbath are indeed
an affront to the human dignity of our people.
Such unwelcome statements, to say the least, show a clear great
disrespect for the sovereignty of Yemen, and the legitimate rights of the
Yemeni people accorded by such sovereignty.
Furthermore, CCYRC strongly detest such rude
foreboding accusations against innocent unarmed protesters by the representative
of the American people in Yemen, who, so far, has been far from being any
reflection of American democratic principles and freedom loving values. On the contrary, the Yemeni people have only
seen your Ambassador as taking on the position of advocate and defender of
Saleh's ruthless oppression of his people, almost from the start of his
assignment in Yemen.
Surely, your Administration can well understand
that such contemptuous statements by the Chief Diplomat of the US Embassy in
Yemen, are bound to be the best fermenting grounds for increasing hostility
against the US and will only benefit those who are seeking to promote an
anti-US and anti-western agenda as means to promoting a menacing Jihadist
culture in Yemen, which neither the Yemeni people or the American people
mutually look upon with any great favor.
Thus, CCYRC strongly demand that the US embassy
and State Department issue an official apology and that Mr. Feierstein be
immediately dismissed as Ambassador of the United States to Yemen and sent home
without any further delay.
Published on 26 12 2011
Labels: Ali Abdullah Saleh, Convoy of Life, GCC Intiative, Gerald M. Feierstein, Hassan Al-Haifi, Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, Ta'ez, US Ambassador to Sana'a, Vice President Abdu Rabbu Hadi