Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In solidarity with Human Rights Activist, Arwa Othman Who's Facing Death-Threats

Arwa Othman was one of the members of the National
Dialogue Conference and headed the Freedoms Committee. 

Multi-award winner, Yemeni Human Rights activist, Arwa Othman stated today that she received death threats to her Facebook inbox by individuals, believed to be affiliated to Al Houthi group, because of her critique to their recent weaponry power. As a response, Arwa decided to report the incident to Yemen's Public Prosecutor, and post the report on her Facebook wall, so whatever will happen to her shall be in the public eyes.

I asked Arwa about the threats and she confirmed to me that she received the threats early in the morning, today. She said, “I thought it was nothing important and there was no need to share them with the public. However, I became extremely worried when the threats were against my daughters as well.”

Snapshot from Arwa's wall: she posted a selection of
the threats sent to her & her daughters' FB inboxes. 

Accordingly, Arwa shared on her Facebook page snapshots of the threat messages sent to her and her daughters' inboxes. Arwa told me that after consulting friends and other journalists about what to do, they all advised her to report the incident to Yemen's public prosecutor. Indeed, Arwa did so and she also shared the letter on her Facebook along with those snapshots. The report goes like this:

Report To The Public Prosecutor

Dear Mr. Public Prosecutor
I have not done more than posting a photo of cobbler and the armed group, a picture taken from popular online websites, (the photos were not taken by me).. and then I happened to receive orders to remove the pictures because the armed group are “sheikhs and honorary and nationalists”.. even my daughters received messages about eliminating me.

Hence, I thought to report this to you. God only knows that since 2011, I have been receiving smearing campaigns, and I have been accused of blasphemy, I have been subjected to slander in my honor – and I have remained silent about all that. But today, the threats are directed towards my daughters. This must not be tolerated, any longer.”

Since 2011, Arwa Othman has been facing different kinds of threats; smearing campaign and even physical assault for her activism and critical writings against any and every oppressive political power in the country. She's not only one of the strongest women voices, but also one of the most dedicated and veteran activists across the country. Given the lack of any protection provided by the state - if anything happens to her this time, Al-Houthi group takes full responsibility, as she has been fearless critical voice against their acts since their takeover of most parts of Yemen, in 21 September, 2014.