Al-Sharq al-Awsat and al-Quds al-Arabi both devote their coverage of Yemen to yesterday’s death sentence handed down to the six al-Qaeda suspects. Following the sentencing it seems as though the presiding judge, Muhsin ‘Alwan, was threatened by al-Qaeda, or at least that is what the headline of this News Yemen piece seems to say.
But a closer reading of the piece suggests that this is a story coming from ‘Alwan and that the threats in fact came from the prisoners in the dock and not from al-Qaeda itself. So, all in all, a much different situation then if al-Qaeda had threatened the judge, which is not beyond the realm of possibility – but it did seem a bit quick to me.
Finally, there is the fatwa on the defense of Yemeni unity – among the signatories are, of course, ‘Abd al-Majid al-Zindani and ‘Abd al-Majid al-Raymi. The latter is responsible for the fatwa that led to the formation of a committee for the prevention of vice and the promotion of virtue last year. Considering that these are still a problem, committees such as the one al-Raymi and al-Zindani support (along with it should be added Sadiq al-Ahmar) continue to gain some popular support. Also signing the fatwa is Muhammad al-Imam – this is not really avoiding domestic politics.