News / Middle East

    Nobel Laureate Calls on UN to Stop Yemen Violence

    Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, one of the three recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize (file photo)
    Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, one of the three recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize (file photo)
    Margaret Besheer

    Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman called on the United Nations Tuesday to stop the bloodshed in Yemen and to stand up for human rights and democracy. The Yemeni activist says she will not return home until President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s file has been transferred to the International Criminal Court and his regime’s assets are frozen.

    Tawakkul Karman rallied supporters of Yemen and the Arab Spring at a plaza across from the United Nations, denouncing the regime of Yemeni President Saleh as well as that of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. She told more than a hundred demonstrators that both men are war criminals and must be held accountable for the massacres of their people.

    Karman told reporters that she rejects any immunity for President Saleh and his inner circle and that she would stay in New York until his assets are frozen and his file is sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

    She read a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General and the U.N. Security Council, which she said would be delivered Wednesday. In it, she calls on them to take immediate action to stop the massacres and hold the perpetrators accountable.

    The U.N. Security Council is currently drafting a resolution calling on both sides to stop the violence, but not imposing any sanctions on the Saleh regime. It is also likely to call for a political settlement, possibly on the basis of a Gulf Cooperation Council initiative that calls for President Saleh to step down.

    Karman said Yemen’s protest movement does not support the GCC initiative, because it provides immunity for President Saleh and his family.

    The rally drew not only Yemenis, but other Arab-Americans as well. They welcomed the new Nobel laureate, who came straight from the airport to the demonstration, showering her with rose petals.

    One of the rally organizers, Sherif Ahmed, 37, an Egyptian-American, urged the United Nations to do more to stop the bloodshed.

    “The people of Yemen are being massacred by their own president and by their own security forces," said Ahmed. "And it is high time for the U.N. to at least stand on the right side of history and condemn this in the strongest terms, and to try to pass some sort of legal punishment for those who kill their own people, such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria, or Ali Saleh in Yemen, or [Moammar] Gadhafi previously, they are all the same, they are all nothing but a bunch of criminals, that’s what they are.”

    Aneesa Shehadeh, 41, came to New York from Chicago to show her support for Yemeni democracy and to call on the United Nations to stop the violence.

    “We want the massacre to stop," said Shehadeh. "We want them [the UN] to, if they were to intervene, to help the people that are dying unjustly and people that are starving daily in our country. We want democracy just like everyone else.”

    Protesters said they would set up a tent in the square across from the United Nations and demonstrate daily until their demands are met.

     

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.