‘Tunisian Wind’ Sweeps Arab Regimes – Protests In Yemen
Tunisian-style protests erupted in Yemen over the weekend with thousands demanding the downfall of its autocratic president who has joined leaders from Algeria to Jordan in the crosshairs of a regional revolt.
By Damien McElroy
23 Jan 2011
Pressure for regime change in the stagnant Arab dictatorships has shifted across the Middle East and North Africa since Tunisia’s Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali fled in the face of demonstrations in Tunis on January 14.
Yemen police on Sunday arrested Tawakel Karman, a female Islamic activist, who had organised the 2,500-strong demonstration in the grounds of the University of Sanaa. A heavy police presence and an active role by the secret police thwarted attempts to move the demonstration to the streets of the capital.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen, has been in power, like Mr Ben Ali, for more than two decades. Like his Tunisian counterpart, his government has allowed grievances over lack of jobs and freedom to fester while presiding over corrupt systems.