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Yemeni activist freed after protests

The arrested Yemeni activist has been released after a new wave of protests

Reuters , Monday 24 Jan 2011
Yemen
In this photo of Saturday 22 January 2011, Yemeni activist Tawakul Abdel-Salam Karman, (L) chants slogans calling on her president Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave the government and follow Tunisian ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali into exile during a protest in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
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Yemen has released an activist who had led rallies against the president after her arrest sparked a new wave of protests in the Arab country's capital.

Tawakul Karman, a journalist and member of the Islamist party Islah, was detained Sunday. She was then released on a guarantee from her family, a security source said Monday.

Inspired by the recent ouster of Tunisia's long-time president, Karman called for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down and had led two rallies at Sanaa University.

Saleh's cash-strapped government is not only plagued by rebellions in the north and south, but also by a resurgent Al Qaeda wing. He has ruled Yemen for over three decades.

Also Sunday another 18 opposition activists were arrested and one demonstrator was shot dead by police in the southern city of Aden who were trying to stop a march.

The security source said Karman's family had guaranteed that she would not violate the Yemeni constitution and law again. Karman is also a member of the activist group Women Journalists Without Chains.

The overthrow of Tunisia's Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali shocked the Arab world and shattered the image that its oppressive, army-backed rulers were immune to popular discontent.

In an apparent move to calm discontent, Saleh also announced plans to raise the salaries of government employees and military personnel by $47 to $234 a month, a good bonus for poorly paid soldiers and civil servants in the Arab world's poorest country.

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