Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yemeni Revolution's Wounded Demonstrators Left to Die

In the wake of Yemen's 2011 uprising, it's estimated that 29,000 demonstrators were reportedly injured during the protests. Of those, around 2,000 have needed medical care abroad, but only 450 have been sent out of the country for treatmentand dozens have died due to absence of any medical treatment. A great deal number of them are still suffering from serious injuries they sustained during the security forces' violent crackdown then. One of the wounded demonstrators, Tamer Rasam, 19, passed away at Sana'a's Change Square on the 1st of June for not receiving a medical treatment- a treatment that the government has promised to provide for all the uprising's wounded people.

One of the recent pictures of Tamer, via Hani Al Junid.

Yemen Youth TV Channel's reporter in Sana'a, Ameen Dabwan reports, "Tamer was abducted along with other 18 anti-regime protesters from Taiz Street in Sana'a during the famous protest across Al Thawra Stadium in Sana'a, in 2011. During the security forces' violent crackdown on that day, Tamer disappeared for six months. He, later, appeared being paralysed, unable to talk and with a loss of sanity. Tamer was in need of a psychological and medical treatment but he didn't find anything other than a blanket and a wheelchair at the Square till he died."

No doubt, the main cause of Tamer's death is that he was severely tortured by the security forces, a matter he has expressed once to journalist, Hani Al Junid. "I got to know Tamer during the hunger strike and sit-in demonstration in front of the Cabinet building by the Uprising's wounded people," recalls Hani, "Tamer was sitting in his wheelchair. I started talking to him. He had difficulty in talking. All I managed to understand was when he said 'they hanged me, they tortured me with electroshocks and when I asked him about his family, he responded with many things among them was that they didn't want him any longer and that they told him let the Revolution heal you!"

Tamer is one of the thousands wounded people who are still seeking for an adequate treatment, in spite the presidential decree ordering their treatment. Ameen's following video report (in Arabic) is about another wounded young man, Mostafa Al Arify who sustained serious injuries from a protest he took part in, in 2011. He survived a shot in the head which left him suffer from quadriplegia. Tamer is also shown at the beginning of the report.

Another very unfortunate incident with one of the wounded young men from the uprising took place in Cairo, Egypt a couple days ago. According to Almasdar Online, after facing many problems while trying to have a medical treatment, the Yemeni guy started pleading for help, lying on the street in front of the Yemeni Embassy in Egypt.

These are some of many other stories of Yemen's abandoned wounded people whose appeals fell on deaf ears, despite that presidential decree embodied with the establishment of 'Wafa Foundation for the Care of Injured Revolutionaries.' The government-funded foundation is under criticism by many; it's regarded as not being fair in its dealings. Reportedly, the foundation is highly affiliated to Al Islah political party and it only favors Islahies.