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|7/16 Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Al-Masajedi, director of the Electronic Civil Service Center
|Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Al-Masajedi.
Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Al-Masajedi, vice director of the Electronic Civil Service Center, said it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue diplomatic passports, not the center’s.
In an interview with the Yemen Times, Al-Masajedi said there is no favoritism shown when distributing identity cards and passports to Yemeni citizens.
What are the services the center provides for Yemeni citizens?
The center provides many services, including issuing identity cards, family cards, death certificates, divorce documents, passports and driving licenses.
What are the conditions of getting these cards?
First, whoever wants to get a card or a passport must be a Yemeni citizen. He must prove that by presenting a high school certificate, an election card or any other documentation.
Regarding identity cards, people have been complaining for several months that their identity cards haven’t been issued. What is the reason?
The authority of identity cards ran out of ink.
The ID authority blames the Ministry of Finance for not providing money to buy cards.
It is up to them.
Marginalized people have a hard time getting identity cards. Why?
We issue ID cards to anyone who can prove Yemeni citizenship. There are no special privileges given to anyone; however, sometimes people claim to be Yemeni without any documentation. In this case, we have the right to deny them ID cards. We have to make sure that they are Yemenis and not refugees from Africa or elswhere.
Why do you insist that anyone wanting an identity card must get a paper signed and stamped by his neighborhood's sheikh?
Only to make sure they’re a Yemeni citizen and to establish where they live.
What are the conditions for getting a Yemeni passport?
According to Yemeni law, whoever wants a Yemeni passport must have an identity card and another certificate to prove their citizenship. Moreover, we also verify by listening to the person's dialect.
Why is it difficult to issue passports at your center?
During the revolution last year, we tightened restrictions on obtaining passports because we didn’t have very many to issue.
How can you obtain diplomatic passports?
Issuing diplomatic passports is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not the center.
Sometimes ordinary people are being given passports with names of businessmen. Why?
We have strict rules here in the center and we follow them. We will issue passports to anyone with the proper documentation and will do so to any name matching the certificates provided.
Many Yemenis complain that it takes a long time to receive their passport. Why does it take so long?
One reason is that many Yemenis have compound and similar names. Therefore, we have to cross-reference with many different documents to verify their identity.
Do you have solution to this problem?
The only solution is to request certificates that give an exact name for the person. We request two or three documents to make sure.
Why don't you use thumbprints as a form of ID?
In the past, we used the print system, but we don’t now; I’m not sure why.
Is it true that some Yemenis have more than one passport?
Yes. Some Yemenis have Yemeni passports as well as passports from other countries where they now live. When we find that out, we implement article 14 of Yemeni law.
In the past decade, terrorism has spread in Yemen. Do you have a list of people to deny passports for?
Yes, we do. We have a black list which we check when issuing any passport. We coordinate with security services regarding this issue.
Some people say they have to pay bribes to employees in the center to facilitate the procedure of obtaining a passport.
That isn't true, and I dare anyone to prove it.
It is said that employees in the center are chosen by nepotism. Is that true?
Nepotism is found worldwide, not only in Yemen. But I assure you the employees are chosen after fully testing them. We make sure they are well qualified to work in the center. I can say that the center is successful because of its employees.
What is your stance on unofficial employees—those who sign contracts and can be laid off at any time?
We are working on that issue. Soon they will be officially employed.
You have been the acting director of the center for several months. Why don't they appoint a new director?
I don't know.
What if they appoint you as director?
I wouldn’t accept.
For personal reasons.
What do you wish to say through the Yemen Times?
I hope the government will help facilitate our work. I hope that we can provide excellent and reliable services for all Yemenis.
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|Article Date: 7/16/2012