Political Analysis

Adopting the atonement criminalization in the national dialogue..

National Yemen

Adopting the atonement criminalization in the national dialogue

By National Yemen

Shatha Harazi, a member of the National Dialogue Conference, said that a group of Dialogue members have agreed that no person or party has the right to govern in any matter. This statement occurred in yesterday’s discussion session organized by the Federation of Young Political Leaders held in collaboration with the Saferworld Organization. The discussion was held at a Yemeni institution and attended by activists, media correspondents, clerics, and specialists in law and sociology. During the session, attendants discussed concepts of disbelief and atonement and the difference between the two. The discussion also covered the definition of these terms in language and in Islam, as well as reasons to encourage atonement, as well as the solutions and treatments that might follow atonement.

The discussion covered several issues and realities surrounding the concept of atonement. Sahar Ghanem, professor, noted that atonement had been reached by some members of the NDC’s State Building working group during the debate on the sources of Yemeni legislation. Professor Salyman al-Ahdal explained the details of his accusation of apostasy, broadcast by the media less than a year ago.  Al-Ahdal revealed a large corruption scandal among the staff of Hodeidah University, where territory had been stolen by Qasim Preah. Due to his disclosure of these events, al-Ahdal was accused of apostasy and imprisoned for 18 days. To add insult to incarceration, vandals attacked his car and house and even made calls for his blood.

Dr. Hammoud al-Awodi shared a story of his own atonement. He was forced to atone over 25 years ago, after expressing an opinion in a story published in a religious book. As a result, he was forced to leave northern Yemen for the southern Yemeni state. He traveled to many countries to share his thoughts on this issue and attempt to open a discussion on atonement. Although this took place in the 90’s, al-Awodi says that it is still not permissible for him to discuss atonement in a public event.

The discussion’s participants reviewed the most important reasons behind this phenomenon, which include using power to coerce people, or the use of atonement simply to express an opinion.

The participants also expressed their support for the outcomes of the National Dialogue and building of the new Yemeni civil state, supporting the acceptance of all views, religions, and people without any discrimination.

This session was held as part of a campaign called “Don’t Atone For Me”, which included several activities that took place in Taiz province. The activities consisted primiarly of three discussion sessions implemented by the Development Foundation for Youth and the Federation of Young Political Leaders in cooperation with Saferworld Organization.