By: Shady Yaseen
Ibrahim Ali Yaseen Al-Sanbare (al-Reemi) will never forget the 25th of August: the day when a few simple charges turned his life into a living hell.
That day was normal until approximately noon, when Ibrahim was suddenly attacked by angry soldiers. After being set upon with strikes and punches, Ibrahim was charged with attempting to detonate a grenade near an English-language institute in Sana’a.
His brother Saddam, who visited the headquarters of al-Masdar, reported, “my brother was beaten violently by security soldiers, and two girls studying in the institute thought that my brother had died.”
On Sunday August 25, the Ministry of Interior and government media announced that security forces had arrested a suspect attempting to blow up the Yemeni-American Language Institute (YALI), a center belonging to the U.S. Embassy and located on Baghdad Street in Sana’a. The day after the accident, media sources published a clarification vastly different from the previous day’s announcement. The clarification revealed that “Ibrahim had no intention to attack the institute.”
The story of Ibrahim’s arrested revolves around a quarrel that occurred between Ibrahim and security forces after Ibrahim’s attempt to cross the barriers established around YALI. During the dispute, the soldiers accused Ibrahim of attempting to detonate a grenade in the vicinity of the Institute. Some versions of the story say that the grenade belonged tone of the soldiers, though Saddam says that the soldiers created this charge to further implicate his brother.
With the police charges against him, Ibrahim was taken from his work to a criminal investigation, where he was exposed to several forms of torture.
When Saddam next saw his brother, “I couldn’t recognize him. He was pale and had difficulty talking. On his forehead was a huge bruise and his hands and feet were tied. …When we met, he didn’t say a word. After a few minutes, he began to talk with difficulty but didn’t seem to recognize us. He seemed as if he had lost the sense of himself.”
Ibrahim was moved to the police industrial complex, and from there he was taken to the Criminal Investigation Prison.
Manager of YALI Aziz al-Hadda denied the news of the bombing attempt, stating “it’s untrue.”
In a call with al-Masdar, the manager said, “the accident only occurred because the motorcycle driver tried to pass the barriers in an illegal manner.
Ibrahim has five brothers and three sisters. After graduating from high school, Ibrahim was unable to find a good job. In order to support his family, Ibrahim took on a number of occupations, one of which was driving passengers through the streets of Sana’a on his motorcycle.
Aleh al-Emrany, the neighborhood director of the Salahuddin district where Ibrahim lives, signed a certificate vouching for Ibrahim’s good conduct. The certificate stated that Ibrahim is a good person and that he does not cause trouble inside or outside his neighborhood.
That day, security officials refused to release any information, and security forces surrounding the Institute prevented any students from leaving YALI for half an hour after the incident. This only incited fear among the students and led to the creation of a number of exaggerated stories.
Meanwhile, officials in the Criminal Investigation Prison refused to allow Ibrahim’s family to visit him; many soldiers reported to Ibrahim’s family that he had gone crazy.
Saddam said that his brother’s file had been turned over to southwest al-Amana, denying the charge. Because of all the torture and defamation against his brother, he will no longer be accepted anywhere, claimed Saddam. Neither the university, nor the army; even many of his relatives and friends will likely turn him away.
Saddam has demanded that the media compensate his brother materially and morally, and furthermore treat him for the psychological and physical torture that he suffered. Ibrahim’s loyal friends have joined Saddam in his decision to protest in front of the Criminal Investigation Prison, while Ibrahim’s mother cries every night for her son.