Local News Political Analysis

Opposition Leader Detained, Released for Alleged Support of Southern Movement

Yemeni authorities on Wednesday released from custody one of the most prominent leaders of the parliamentary opposition, Mohammed Ghaleb Ahmed, a member of the socialist party.

Mohammed Ghaleb Ahmed

He had been detained four days earlier for allegedly supporting the southern movement in their alleged attempts to sabotage the Gulf 20 Football Tournament.

Upon his release, Ahmed commented to a group of activists, members of his party, and journalists, “I was arrested and interrogated by the prosecutor’s office specializing in terrorism cases.”

According to Ghaleb, he was taken last Sunday from his home to the Criminal Investigation Prison in Sana’a.

According to official sources, he stands accused of providing financial support to the southern movement, which is demanding secession from the Yemeni state, and of planning to attack facilities of the regional football championship hosted last month in the two southern governorates of Aden and Abyan.

The Yemeni News Agency has also published news confirming that the attorney general summoned Mohammed Ghaleb based on the statements supposedly extracted by Taher Tammahm, whom he called “one of the outlaws and armed activists of the southern movement in Lahj” who stated that the Joint Meetings Party, of which the suspect’s party is an affiliate, had paid 50 thousand dollars to finance sabotage operations to disturb the successful conduct of Gulf 20 events.

The detention is expected to raise the tension between the government and the JMP, which is already simmering in the wake of an attack on an opposition leader of the Nasserite party two weeks ago, and the decision of the ruling party to proceed with elections despite an opposition boycott.

The Interior Ministry threatened last week to subject the leaders of the JMP opposition coalition to prosecution, if it is proved that it has provided support to the southern movement.

An official source in the Ministry said that, were such cases uncovered by officials, “the JMP will be subjected to legal accountability regarding their conspiracy to undermine security and stability, and their violation of the constitution and laws of this country.”