Use of excessive force with Hawkers crime against human rights

National Yemen

Bulldozer carry’s out hawkers Remnants in Taiz

By / Redhwan Nasser Al- Sharif
Hawkers suffer in Yemen due to a lack of space for them to carry out their daily business.
Many citizens spend much of their time buying and selling goods in Sana’a, but unfortunately some of the shops and stands involved have begun to obstruct city life. Commercial activity has begun to spill over into the thoroughfares and public spaces of Yemen’s cities, particularly during these fifteen days of Ramdan.
Some vendors have even gone as are as blocking streets generally devoted to vehicle traffic. The entrance to Sana’a’s salt market has been closed by the erection of enormous tents by shopkeepers in the middle of streets, especially in Bab al-Yemen, Bear Obeid, Airport Street and other commerce centers.
This is a real problem, and it consists of two parts. The first part of the problem is the general closure of public streets, which results in the suffering and frustration of owners of nearby houses, who are prevented from parking their cars close to the entrances of their homes. The second part is that hawkers will try to prevent the working of families in the area in order to protect their own business interests. Some people wait a full year for the last ten days of Ramdan in order to work extensively to cover all the expenses incurred over the past several months—feeding the hunger of him and his family, dressing his children, and paying off his rent.
For a citizen to be displeased with their living situation is a very tragic occurrence. Many of these people are those living in poverty or on a minimal income. Yemeni life can be merciless, and no one appreciates the circumstances under which they life.
If you want the truth about what bothered me so much during the recent gubernatorial campaign in Taiz, it the governor’s directive to use force against hawkers trying to defend the workers’ proverb, “cut off the head and cut pension.” These workers were beaten and their sales plummeted. The beating incident took place in Sana’.
I wonder why the Yemeni government has yet to think up a suitable solution for this problem. Why does our government demolish instead build? Why aren’t they committed to improving Yemenis’ abilities to eat, clothe and house themselves, and instead allow streets with alternative markets to sit over your house?
The use of force does nothing to help hungry people in Yemen. We need solutions that solve the actual problem at hand without involvement of politics or the government. Some of these families only need work in order to pay their bills and look after their families, but jobs require markets that give them a chance to work. Event this is a tall order, though, given Yemen’s high unemployment and lack of jobs.