Human Rights

Rights activists blame Major General Shallal Shaye'a for much of the bloodshed in Aden since the war broke out in 2015

Human rights minister criticized for honoring Aden security chief

Yemen’s Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar commemorated International Human Rights Day by honoring Aden security chief Major General Shallal Shaye’a, a security figure who is at once loved and reviled for his role in changing the balance of power in the interim capital. 

Shaye’a was honored along with other dignitaries during an official ceremony sponsored by Askar, according to an official at the ministry who spoke to Almasdar Online on condition of anonymity. Pictures of a plaque given to Shaye’a, bearing Minister Askar’s signature, were widely circulated on social media, prompting outrage and anger by human rights activists, including the head of the Mothers of Abductees Association, and government officials who blame the military leader for much of the bloodshed in Aden since the war broke out in 2015.

A report by the UN Human Rights Council’s group of experts on Yemen named Shaye’a as a possible suspect involved in a string of assassinations of Islah figures in Aden from 2015 to 2019. Minister Askar, who is not universally loved in Adeni politics either, criticized the UN experts for not focusing on human rights violations committed by the Houthis. Activists have ridiculed Askar for denying human rights violations by Saudi and UAE military forces in Yemen. 

Shaye’a is one of the most prominent military leaders of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), which carried out an armed rebellion against the Yemeni government in the interim capital Aden in August. For that, Shaye’a is celebrated as a hero by many southerners who support the pro-secession STC. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ahmed Al-Maysari ordered the suspension of Shaye’a following the August rebellion, but was unable to enforce the decision. 



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