By Hassan Al-Haifi
Amnesty International issued a public statement calling for an independent and impartial investigation on the killing of Dr. Ahmed Sharafeddine, the well known legal expert and member of the National Dialogue which was to put Yemen on a new course following the peaceful youth revolution of February 15, 2011. Dr. Sharafeddine was mowed down by eight gunmen who came in two cars: a Mercedes Bens and a Toyota Hilux. Dr. Sharafeddine was unarmed and was heading for the National Dialogue Conference now in its ninth month meeting in Movenpick Hotel in Sana’a.
Dr. Sharafeddine received several shots in his body as it was reported that all eight men shot at him in the car. At least four bullets landed in his head.
Dr. Sharafeddine was representing Ansar Allah (otherwise known as the Houthis in the National Dialogue Conference. About three months another Houthi representative was murdered as he was leaving a mosque by armed murderers riding a motorcycle. In both cases the murderers escaped, although the murders took place within yards from security outposts and a nearby police precincts.
The Islah Party claimed that the son of a leading Islah Party Official Abdul-Wahab Al-Anisy was the victim of an attack and they showed a car that showed some damage in the rear. Yesterday it was discovered that the car shown was actually a car that was attacked in Shabwa in December and did not even belong to Al-Anisy. It is not clear why the Islah would claim the incident of Al-Anisy’s son, and as it is likely to be untrue, apparently the Islah leaders may have known about the intended murder of Dr. Sharafeddine and thus wanted to elicit sympathy for their officials as well in a clear case of intended cover up and distortion of the fact. The walls of the residence of the Sharafeddine were found to be written with graffiti that contained well known rhetoric used to damn followers of Shia sects and this also raises questions about Islah involvement in the killing.
The Wahhabi followers of the Salafis and Islah political parties and their tribal allies led by the sons of the late Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar and General Ali Mohasen Al-Ahmar, an ally of the Wahhabis in Yemen, have been waging a war against the Houthis in Sa’ada for the last three or four months. The Houthis have driven out the Salafis that were purported to be studying “traditions of the Prophet Mohammed” in both Kitaf and Dammaj. The Houthis claim that these are mostly foreign settlers brought in to drive the Zeidis from being too proximate to the Saudi border. The Houthis claimed that these centers were no more than training grounds for terrorists of the Al-Qaeda genre. There are no institutions, schools or libraries that contained or taught “traditions of the Prophet Mohammed” in either Wahhabi centers or their surroundings. The Houthis have shown repeatedly that these centers had Wahhabi “students” imported from all over the world and had shown on their TV channel “Al-Maseerah” documents and witnesses that attested to significant terrorist activities including materials for making bombs and other ordnances uses in terrorist attacks. The Houthis finally besieged the Wahhabi Salafis and drove them out of the centers, after mediation committees assigned by President Abdurrabbo Hadi relocated some 3000 to 5000 of these mostly foreign followers of the Wahhabi Salafi creed, which is the national religion of the Government of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been funding both of these centers through various covert operations that have been used to spread the Wahhabi creed throughout the world. It is reported that Saudi Arabia has spent around US $ 200 Billion to spread Wahhabism throughout the world since the late 1970s. The Salafis of Dammaj were relocated in Sana’a after the people of Hodeida refused to accept them there.
Dr. Sharafeddine was a significant contributor to the political solutions devised by the National Dialogue to solve the political problem left after Ali Abdullah Saleh was deposed as President of Yemen, and replaced temporarily by his Vice President, Abdu-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, under a political settlement mapped out in the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative signed in November 2011.
Here is the public statement issued by Amnesty International, which has yet to be published in AI’s website (Click the following file name):