Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yemen’s former President al-Hamdi could still be alive

Jawaher Asa’ad | 24 March 2012
SANA’A: Ibrahim al-Hamdi was Yemen’s third President from 1974 to 1977. Under his rule, Yemen experienced a financial boom, which even overshadowed the 1960s era of prosperity, making him a well-loved figure amongst the population, as he was perceived as a man of reforms whose ambitions were to better Yemen.
Before he was murdered in October 1977, in circumstances which have yet to be determined, since no serious investigation were ever ordered, al-Hamdi planned to end Yemen’s tribal system and Yemen’s medieval social classes by proclaiming all Yemenis as equal.
His death plunged the country into mourning as people felt al-Hamdi was a president of the people for the people.
President al-Hamdi was allegedly killed alongside his brother, Major Abdullah al-Hamdi in murky circumstances, with opponents of his rule accusing him of having conducted improper relationships with French dancers, whom were also found dead at the scene of the crime.
Questions surrounding al-Hamdi’s death came back to the surface with the revolution, with more people looking at exposing the regime’s past crimes.
As it happened, new clues were unveiled, shedding new light onto the events.
According to al-Safeer Press, sources have confirmed that Ibrahim al-Hamdi was currently being held in a Saudi prison, stressing that his death had been a cover-up for his kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.
Al-Hamdi had indeed been attacked and shot several times by al-Ghashmy, who later became Yemen’s interim President and by Colonel Saleh al-Hidian, but never succumbed to his injuries, the sources said.
Rather he was banished to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A private plane belonging to Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the then Minister of Defense and Head of the Saudi committee in charge of the Yemeni Affairs allegedly airlifted him back to Saudi, never to be heard from again.
Records show that none in Hamdi’s family actually saw his corpse, adding to speculation that the body buried next to that of al-Hamdi’s brother could be Saleh Al Zarnoqi, one of his loyalists.
Al-Safeer Press Agency said it was continuing its investigation.

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