Yemen: Recruiting methods of the Political Security Organization and whether it is known to use coercion to recruit informers
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 November 1998|
|Citation / Document Symbol||YEM30466.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Yemen: Recruiting methods of the Political Security Organization and whether it is known to use coercion to recruit informers, 1 November 1998, YEM30466.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6abde78.html [accessed 26 May 2013]|
The following information was obtained from a 9 November 1998 telephone interview with a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University who specializes in Yemeni history. The professor stated that the PSO recruits on various levels. High ranking military officers are generally connected to the President, often through an affiliation from the Hashid tribe or the sub-tribe Sanhan from which the President comes. These officers use their contacts and their networks - both tribal and otherwise - to identify potential recruits. At higher levels both perceived loyalty and/or some form of reward are used in recruitment. The professor stated that recruits come from both north and south, with persons from the latter area often having been first identified as opponents of the previous South Yemen government and its subsequent representatives.
At lower levels the professor said that a more informal form of recruitment is common. At these levels the PSO uses financial rewards and other positive inducements to garner participation in its activities. Coercion is also used at these levels. Forms of negative persuasion could include arrest and/or threats to family members. The professor stated that as a practice the PSO typically has an informant present at gatherings known as "Qat Chew". These encounters are very common and involve the chewing of narcotic leaves while engaging in conversation.
A professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond who is a consultant with Middle East Watch and a member of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, said in a 6 November 1998 telephone interview that the use of informants by the PSO is "fairly well entrenched". When asked if these informants might have been coerced, the professor said that she believes it does occur. For example, if voluntary cooperation were not forthcoming a coercive act such as a family member's car being forced from the road could possibly follow.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
University of New York. 9 November 1998. Telephone interview with a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies.
University of Richmond. 6 November 1998. Telephone interview with a Professor of Political Science.
Additional Sources Consulted
Amnesty International. 1997. Amnesty International Report 1998.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1997. 1998.
The Europa World Year Book 1998. 1998.
Human Rights Watch (HRW). 1996. Human Rights Watch World Report 1997.
Middle East International [London]. 12 September 1997 - 21 August 1998.
The Middle East and North Africa 1998. 1997.
Resource Centre. Yemen country file. 1994-present.
_____. Yemen: Amnesty International country file 1994-present.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases, LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).
Four non-documentary sources contacted could not provide information on the requested subject.