Independent intellectuals under threat - Bonnefoy

In a recent piece published by, French scholar Laurent Bonnefoy examines the post-revolution trend of attacks on independent activists and thinkers, and the related polarization of Yemen's political and intellectual arena. Bonnefoy focuses in particular on a recent attack on Nabil Subay, a famous journalist/poet/social critic:

On 2 January 2016 in Sana’a, Nabil Subay, a Yemeni journalist, heads for lunch with friends. Unidentified gunmen attack him on a busy street: they beat him violently about the head and shoot him in both legs. He is taken to hospital and operated on. One of his colleagues, Muhammad Aysh, immediately places responsibility on the Houthis, given that the city is under their control; they allowed this aggression to happen and let the perpetrators escape....

...The attack he suffered in early January 2016 symbolises a deep and worrying dynamic emerging in a country which, only a few years ago, and particularly during the 2011 revolutionary moment, demonstrated a flourishing of ideas and creativity. As the political situation has become increasingly tense since 2014, far too many independent and moderate personalities have been murdered or suffered violence and intimidation.

As Bonnefoy points out, groups on many sides of Yemen's political divides have carried out assassinations, arrests, and other acts of intimidation and repression against their ideological enemies in recent years. The atmosphere such acts create will only make it harder for Yemen to ever emerge from the present conflict.