Houthis fire rockets at Yemen military parade in ‘assassination attempt’ on minister

Yemeni security officials say Houthi rebels fired Katyusha rockets on a military parade near the central city of Taiz. (Supplied)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Houthis fire rockets at Yemen military parade in ‘assassination attempt’ on minister

LONDON: Yemeni security officials say Houthi rebels fired Katyusha rockets on a military parade near the central city of Taiz, killing four civilians including a local journalist, in an apparent assassination attempt on the interior minister and his deputy.
The officials spoke about Monday’s attack on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, AP reported.
Radwan Shamsan, a member of Rasd Coaltion, a Yemeni group that monitors human rights violations in Taiz, told Arab News that the rockets were fired at the Al-Khiami area in Al-Ma’afer district.
An unnamed boy being treated at Khalifa hospital in Al-Turbah. (Supplied)
An unnamed boy being treated at Khalifa hospital in Al-Turbah. (Supplied)

“There was a military festival for private security forces, but the bombing came after it ended,” Shamsan said, adding that at least 15 civilians were killed and the injured were taken to Khalifa hospital in Al-Turbah when four rockets were fired.
According to Shamsan, many of the injured were women and children, with a second journalist also among the injured, whilst the journalist who was killed was identified as Mohammed Al-Qadasi — a photographer for local news channel Belqees TV.
 
The broken camera lense of Mohammed Al-Qadasi. (Supplied)
Omar Al-Bothaigi said he was in his car with his friend, approximately two meters away from the gate of the military camp, talking to an officer and a journalist who were standing next to his car when the rocket hit.
Al-Bothaigi explained that shrapnel was lodged into his skull behind his ear after the blast. He was later taken to hospital for an MRI scan.
“Unfortunately the officer died and the journalist is in the intensive care unit,” Al-Bothaigi said.
Omar Al-Bothaigi said he was in his car with his friend, approximately two meters away from the gate of the military camp. (Supplied)


Jordan ‘discriminatory’ stance on women criticized by rights group

Updated 36 min 54 sec ago
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Jordan ‘discriminatory’ stance on women criticized by rights group

  • Jordan violated both international law and its own constitution, which guarantees all Jordanians equality before the law — HRW
  • Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen provide equal rights to women and men to confer citizenship to their children

AMMAN: The global advocacy group Human Rights Watch has criticized Jordan for what it claims is a discriminatory policy toward women over the issue of nationality.

In a report released on Tuesday, the organization said Jordan violated both international law and its own constitution, which guarantees all Jordanians equality before the law.

In spite of progress made by other countries across the Middle East and North Africa to allow women to pass their nationality on to their children, Jordan has no plans to amend its nationality law. 

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen provide equal rights to women and men to confer citizenship to their children. Iraq and Mauritania allow women with foreign husbands to confer nationality to children born in the country.

Jordanian authorities restrict the rights of non-citizen children of Jordanian women to work, own property, travel, enrol in higher education, and access government health care and other services. 

“This is the first comprehensive report that deals with the half measures adopted in 2014 and shows that the government didn’t make any serious change of laws and regulations,” Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher for HRW, told Arab News.

In 2014, following domestic pressure, Jordanian authorities appeared ready to recognize non-citizen children of Jordanian women. The Cabinet issued a decision purporting to ease restrictions on their access to employment opportunities, public education, government health care, property ownership, investment and acquiring a driver’s license.

Almost half the Jordanian population are citizens of Palestinian origin, with 2 million registered refugees who are also citizens of Jordan. The report explained the argument used to deny Jordanian women equal rights with men. 

“Given that Jordan is home to one of the largest populations of Palestinian refugees and that the majority of Jordanian women married to foreign nationals are married to non-citizen Palestinian men who hold various legal statuses in Jordan, local politicians and officials’ chief argument against repealing this discriminatory policy is the claim that it would both undermine the effort to secure Palestinian statehood and alter Jordan’s demographic balance,” it said.

Human Rights Watch rejected this justification as discriminatory, saying it was not applied to Jordanian men who chose to marry foreign nationals, most of whom are also married to Palestinians.

“While I am totally for ending the discriminatory policy against Jordanian women, the government should immediately remove all barrier to their children,” Salma Nims, secretary-general of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, whose organization was set to host the unveiling of the report, told Arab News.