Friday, February 8, 2013

Horrific Abuses in Southern Yemen

A few months ago, in mid-December 2012, residents in southern Yemen experienced a human rights disaster when an al-Qaeda affiliate took control of Yemen's Abyan province. The human rights controversy centers around the inhumane and disturbing punishments carried out by Ansar al-Sharia, including crucifixions, public executions, amputations, and floggings. In addition to these abuses, they set up their own courts and applied their own version of Islamic Law. This led to the abuse and offensive actions focused towards people of the Abyan province. One man accused of spying for the United States was killed and crucified, as a warning to any Yemen countryman that might consider doing the same. As a United States citizen, and never having to face these issues, I can only imagine how this affected the people of Yemen and their families. As in many cases of terrorist actions, the actions of the United States can be focused on. The U.S. and Yemen have been attempting to destroy al-Qaeda's presence in the Arabian Peninsula. One would believe that this would reasonably lead to an attempt by al-Qaeda to target alleged spies. But this is far from the truth. Al-Qaeda centered their focus on the destruction of the human rights for the Yemen people, not only military personnel. One woman was beheaded for the crime of sorcery, and another was amputated for the crime of theft. To me, these situations do not sound like an ethical interpretation of Islamic law. When analyzing the events of the conflict between Ansar al-Sharia and the Yemeni government, it is clear that al-Qaeda's tactics are reckless and violate international humanitarian law. From the events that have occurred in Yemen, we find that in order to achieve power, some groups will not have any regard to ethical/legal precedent and ultimately, human rights.

No comments:

Post a Comment