The world must not forsake Yemen’s struggle for freedom

Yemenis are ready to pay the ultimate price to take on a brutal dictator. Yet the UN can’t even bring itself to condemn him

• This article is also available in Arabic

 Bt Tawakkol Karman, The Guardian, November 1, 2011

Yemen

Yemeni women in the capital, Sana’a, burn veils in protest at a government crackdown on peaceful protests. Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

We in Yemen are no less thirsty for freedom and dignity than our brothers and sisters in Tunis. After the fall of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, our own vigils took a new direction when thousands of young people went on to the streets. They reached their climax with the fall of the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, when millions of Yemenis called for the departure of the dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Many in the Arab world were worried about our uprising. Everyone knew that the country is awash with weapons. It was feared that the revolution would descend into violence and distort the image of the other Arab uprisings.

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