Assassination of Aden University dean sparks outcry in Yemen

An image of Dr. Naja Ali Moqbel, the dean of the Faculty of Sciences shared by Yemeni activists on Twitter.
Updated 17 May 2018
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Assassination of Aden University dean sparks outcry in Yemen

  • The nation was shocked by the assassination of Dr. Naja Ali Moqbel, the dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and her son Sameh and granddaughter, after a gunman stormed her home
  • The university president had convened an emergency meeting in the wake of the killings, appointing a task force mandated to press for a timely and transparent investigation of the case

ADEN: The University of Aden has condemned the murder of its dean of sciences and her son and granddaughter, who were killed in her apartment in the de facto government capital of Yemen.
“The academic community, the city of Aden, and all of Yemen were shocked by the assassination of Dr. Naja Ali Moqbel, the dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and her son Sameh and granddaughter, after a gunman stormed her home,” a statement said Wednesday.
Neighbours of Dr. Moqbel in the western Inma residential district managed to catch the gunman and the security services arrived soon after, according to the statement.
It said the university president had convened an emergency meeting in the wake of the killings, appointing a task force mandated to press for a timely and transparent investigation of the case.
Yemen’s prime minister, Ahmad bin Dagher, condemned the “despicable” killings of Dr. Moqbel, her son Sameh and granddaughter Lian, in a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency.
He said President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi had issued directives for security agencies to merge under the umbrella of the Interior Ministry to facilitate information sharing.
Abdelaziz bin Habtour, the prime minister of the so-called Houthi government and the former governor of Aden, also condemned the assassination.
“The academic community has lost a distinguished colleague, one of the best members of the Faculty of Science at the University of Aden,” he said, highlighting her scholarly contributions and books in a statement carried by the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

Several others took to social media condemning the killings and paying tribute to the family. 




The southern port city has also seen a string of assassinations against religious figures in recent weeks.
Aden has served as the base of Yemen’s internationally recognized government since Iran-backed Houthi militia overran the capital Sanaa in 2014.
And in January, southern separatists backed by the UAE attacked government loyalist forces in Aden, overrunning the city. The government was forced to hunker down until Saudi and Emirati envoys arrived to quell the infighting.


Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

Syrian children are pictured at a refugee camp in the village of Mhammara in the northern Lebanese Akkar region on March 9, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 21 min 28 sec ago
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Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

  • UN official stresses ‘urgent need to ensure’ their ‘safe, voluntary and dignified return’
  • Some 215,000 Syrian students are currently enrolled in Lebanon's schools 

BEIRUT: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt has expressed concern about reports that Syrian refugees returning to their country from Lebanon face torture and murder.

This coincides with a debate in Lebanon about whether Syrian refugees should return without waiting for a political solution to the conflict in their country. 

UN Special Coordinator Jan Kubis stressed after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday the “urgent need to ensure the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees home, according to international humanitarian norms.” 

Kubis added: “The UN and the humanitarian community will continue to facilitate these returns as much as possible. Another very important message was also to support the host communities here in Lebanon.”

Mireille Girard, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Monday said: “The reconstruction process in Syria may not be enough to attract refugees to return. We are working to identify the reasons that will help them to return.”

She added: “The arrival of aid to the refugees is an element of trust that helps them to return. Their dignity and peaceful living must be ensured.”

Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumdjian said the Lebanese General Security “issued lists containing the names of refugees wishing to return to their homes, but the Syrian regime accepted only about 20 percent of them.”

He added: “The solution is to call on the international community to put pressure on Russia, so that Moscow can exert pressure on (Syrian President) Bashar Assad’s regime to show goodwill and invite Syrian refugees to return to their land without conditions, procedures, obstacles and laws that steal property and land from them.”

Lebanese Education Minister Akram Chehayeb said: “The problem is not reconstruction and infrastructure, nor the economic and social situation. The main obstacle is the climate of fear and injustice in Syria.”

He added: “There are 215,000 Syrian students enrolled in public education in Lebanon, 60,000 in private education, and there are informal education programs for those who have not yet attended school to accommodate all children under the age of 18.” 

Chehayeb said: “As long as the displacement crisis continues, and as long as the (Assad) regime’s decision to prevent the (refugees’) return stands … work must continue to absorb the children of displaced Syrians who are outside education to protect Lebanon today and Syria in the future.”