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Yemeni army injures students protesting military on campus

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 13 January 2013 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounces the use of excessive force by the Yemeni army to disperse a peaceful demonstration in the capital city of Sana'a.

First Armoured Division (FAD) forces violently broke up the protest organised by students at the Sana'a University who were demonstrating against heavy military presence on campus and calling for the evacuation of military barracks from inside the university's walls. As students were passing through different areas on campus carrying banners against the university's militarisation, they also passed barracks stationed on university grounds. The soldiers present began beating them up with batons and stones resulting in the wounding of several demonstrators.

Peaceful demonstrations revolving around this issue have been ongoing since the beginning of December 2012.

Besides assaulting peaceful protesters, army officers also attacked a number of journalists and media-professionals covering the demonstration. Some soldiers broke the journalists' cameras in an attempt to prevent them from recording the violations being committed against the protesting students.

"The use of violence by the army forces against protesters is a serious violation of the right to freedom of assembly," stated ANHRI, "the presence of troops on campus is also a blatant violation of the university's independence which should be guaranteed and protected.

ANHRI expresses its full solidarity with the fair demand of the students to end the militarisation of their university. ANHRI calls on the Yemeni authorities to stop all aspects of the militarisation of civil institutions.

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