Sheikhs Discuss Attack on BBC Journalists

BBC Journalist beaten in Yemen protests referred to tribal mediation

Hundreds of sheikhs, notables and members of the central regions of Yemen held a meeting this Tuesday evening in Sana’a in protest at what BBC journalist Abdullah Ghurab suffered.

Ghurab was reportedly attacked by so-called “baltagiyya” or thugs, who support the government, on Monday evening in Sana’a, during his coverage of demonstrations in support of and against the regime.

The meeting condemned the attack on Ghurab as a deed carried out by security agents dressed in civilian uniforms which was accompanied by a verbal assault and accusations of “betraying the Arab nation.”

In the meeting statement, the security authorities pledged full responsibility for the safety of Ghurab and all his fellow journalists.

They recognized what they described as an “irresponsible act,” which came as part of repeated attacks on journalists and civilians, and is a violation of human rights guaranteed in the constitutions and all laws, domestic and international, and troubling for homeland security and stability.

The sons of the central region asked to open a transparent and just investigation into what happened and bring the perpetrators to justice.

They warned of a repeat of what happened, and assumed full responsibility of paying for these methods, any repercussions stemming from it.

They emphasized that these actions are irrelevant to arsonists, but threaten the homeland with great harm, while the nation tries to maintain unity, security, stability and progress.

At the enlarged meeting, Abdullah Ghurab said that more than one senior figure in the State contacted him offering him “arbitration” for what happened to him, but he refused tribal mediation and said that these techniques are the kind that drag the country down and impede its progress.

Ghurab’s Treatment by Thugs

While Ghurab refused any efforts at tribal reconciliations, he restated at the same time that he would not rest until the attackers are brought to justice.

Ghurab stated that his case will only be avenged and a proper response achieved by barring thugs from mobilizing on the streets, which will end the suffering of the demonstrators and journalists.

He also called for the authorities to ensure the freedom of the press for domestic and international journalists.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al-Jofi, minister of education, who attended the meeting in person, regretted what happened in the attack against Ghurab “.

He said, “We are all in pain. We cannot leave our friend to be assaulted in the street”. He added, “We are dealing with the situation as he is our friend, and we have seen to it that no further insult or injury arises from the matter.”

For his part, Sheikh Ali Hussein Ghurab, one sheikh of the central region, condemned what happened to colleague Abdullah Ghurab.  He asked the authorities to pursue the aggressors and send them to court. He stressed his demand that the kind of assault suffered by Ghurab not happen again.