Education International
Education International

Yemen: 20 teachers killed since protests began

published 12 May 2011 updated 26 May 2011

EI affiliate member, the Yemeni Teachers’ Syndicate (YTS) has denounced the serious escalation in violence against teacher trade unionists in the country as protests grow against the 32-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The YTS has reported the deaths of at least five teachers during the strikes that were organised last week, and at least 20 in total since the uprisings began. The union has also condemned the arbitrary detentions and suspension of teacher’s pay and allowances.

On Wednesday, security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators as they marched through the capital Sanaa’s University Square, which has been the focal point of protests against the government.

The uprising was triggered by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions and the wave of peoples’ protests spreading throughout the Middle East and the Maghreb. A generation of young activists, among them many young women, have been leading the civil society movement for democratic changes.

EI General Secretary, Fred Van Leeuwen, said:  “EI is calling on the entire international community to exert pressure on the regime in Yemen to stop these crimes, and to ensure that those responsible for these repressive and criminal acts are brought to justice. EI affiliates also demand action towards political, social and economic resolutions, as well as the protection of freedoms and trade union rights for everyone within the country.”

EI has condemned the crackdown on teacher unionists and has launched an Urgent Action Appeal, calling on its member organisations to urge the authorities to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of teachers and union activists. We also encourage individuals to send online messages to the Yemeni government, using our on-line form.

For more information, please visit the EI urgent action appeal on Yemen.