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Yemen court sentences 2 southern activists

2010-03-31 08:45 BJT

SANAA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- A Yemeni security court on Tuesday sentenced two pro-separatist southern activists to three and five years imprisonment terms respectively for harming the national unity, state-run Saba news agency reported.

The Sanaa-based court handed down a 5-year prison sentence to Fadi Hassan Ahmed Baoum, a leader of the Southern Movement that demands seceding the south part of Yemen from the north, for " instigating southerners to break the laws and constitution."

Baoum was also convicted of "inciting violence and armed insurrection against the government."

The other defendant Hussain Mothanna al-Aqil, a professor of Aden University, received three years jail term for "circulating and publishing news to some newspapers and website with the aim of undermining national unity."

The verdicts are part of a series of trials involving anti- unity separatist activists since early this month.

On Sunday, the same court sentenced a former Yemeni ambassador, Qasim Askar Jubran to five-year imprisonment over anti-national unity criminal account.

Northern and southern Yemen were unified in 1990 according to a deal between the People's General Congress and the Yemeni Socialist Party. However, the deal fell apart, leading to a crisis between the two allies, which developed into a civil war in 1994.

Nowadays, voices rise in South Yemen where secessionist sentiments are simmering, calling for disengagement from the north.

The Sanaa government carried out several security sweeps over the past month in an attempt to rein in massive rallies which were held across the southern provinces.


Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua