Statement by the Yemeni American Coalition for Change
October 18, 2011 - New York - Today, Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkul Karman along with Yemeni-Americans, freedom supporters and activists come together in the front of the United Nations to stand in solidarity with millions of courageous Yemeni citizens who are uniting their voices peacefully to demand the immediate DEPARTURE of the repressive Ali Abdullah Saleh and his regime.We call for an independent probe into the continued violent tactics of the Saleh regime and the brutal massacres and inhumane crimes committed against peaceful protestors. We call on the United Nations and the international community to support the people’s call for a peaceful transition of power.
Yemenis have been peacefully protesting throughout the country for the past nine (9) months now but their calls for change and justice have been met with murderous acts by Saleh’s security forces. Since the beginning of this uprising, acts by security forces, snipers, and sharp shooters have savagely murdered more than nearly 500 peaceful protestors and injured more than 9000. As we write this statement, the violence against innocent, peaceful, nonviolent, and unarmed protestors continues.
The Yemeni youth’s peaceful revolution also faces intervention from neighboring anti-democratic countries, and silence and inconsistency by some western countries and international media. This silence has allowed the current dictatorial regime of Ali Saleh to commit ongoing crimes against humanity, and drive the country toward severe humanitarian and economic crises. These crimes have continued without any strong objection from the international community or true support for the people of Yemen. THE WORLD CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT CONTINUE TO BE SILENT.
Without urgent actions that would put an immediate end to the current regime, there will be more bloodshed, more suffering, and more innocent people will pay the hefty price of death for simply wanting “change” for their country, their fellow citizens, their families, and the generations to come. The lethal force against peaceful protestors by the regime is unlawful; it is a clear violation of fundamental and universal human rights, and it must be condemned and Saleh’s regime must be held accountable.
The United States government needs to make its position clearly known – and that position must be to stand by the legitimate demands of the Yemeni people for dignity, democracy and freedom. The U.S. should see this peaceful uprising as a golden opportunity to promote a strong relationship with the Yemeni people and to forge a new relationship with the next generation – the youth of Yemen who make up three-quarters of the population.
Today, Yemeni-Americans call on the Obama administration and the international community not only to publically condemn the regime and “call for power transfer” but to also take strong actions against the regime’s violence. A decision to freeze Saleh’s assets and freeze all military aid to this autocratic regime must be made NOW. The U.S. and the international community should support the Yemeni people’s wishes for a new government and the immediate end of the Saleh regime. Also, the U.N. Human Rights Council must act with an independent probe into the crimes of Saleh’s regime.
We believe that supporting peoples’ demands for peaceful transition of power is a crucial step toward a true democracy and will foster a better relationship between the people of Yemen and the rest of the world. Such an outcome will strengthen U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen and in the region.
We also call on the Obama administration and the international community, especially the Arab Gulf countries, to respect the Yemenis’ wishes and allow them the freedom to choose their next leaders and determine their own future.
Further, we urge the U.S. and the western media to end their silence and to expose the regime’s crimes against the peaceful protestors and give the Yemeni people and their struggle full and fair news coverage.
As Yemeni Americans we reaffirm our unwavering support and solidarity with our brothers and sisters in their peaceful protests, rightful demands, and admirable determination to meet these demands. We stand by their calls for justice and a true democracy.