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Mohammed Adam OMAR






A.K.A.: "The Sanaa Ripper"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Morgue assistant
Number of victims: 2 - 16
Date of murders: 1995 - 1999
Date of arrest: May 15, 2000
Date of birth: 1952
Victims profile: Young women (students)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Sanaa, Yemen
Status: Executed by firing squad on June 20, 2001
photo gallery

Students at Sanaa University, outraged over revelations of Mohammad Adam Omar's bloodlust, said they will sue university officials for neglect over the murderous rampage of the university morgue worker. "The student union has decided to file a criminal suit against university administrators and security guards...for failing to carry out their duties," a statement said.

Since the revelations of Omar's unchecked criminality, student protesters have taken to the streets demanding the firing of senior university officials and university security officers. The student union said it would call off the protests while their case is in court, but warned: "if we detect any attempt to undermine the case or be lenient with any of those involved we will strengthen our protests and broaden them to include all the universities in Yemen."

Students demonstrated in the Yemeni capital Sanaa demanding that university morgue killer Mohammad Adam Omar be publicly crucified. The students marched to the office of President Ali Abdullah Saleh where they presented a list of demands including that the trial of the suspect be televised and "that he be executed and crucified outside the university's faculty of medicine."

In court, Omar was all smiles. The 48-year-old suspect confirmed his confession of having killed 16 women in Yemen, 8 of whom were university students. He also said he cut off the hands and feet of his victims, dissolved them in chemicals and kept their bones as mementos. Police said they are looking for four associates who are suspected of helping him with the killings. Detectives said they have sent investigators to Kuwait, Jordan and Sudan where the suspect claims to have killed 35 more women since 1975.

Yemeni police reported that the have discovered the remains of 15 women around the medical faculty of Sanaa University. Sources close to the investigation told Reuters that nine of the corpses were skeletons and six headless bodies and two severed heads had also been found. Some of the remains were found buried and others were in the university's sewage system.

University morgue worker Mohammad Adam Omar, who is believed to be responsible for 67 deaths throughout the Middle East, will go on trial this weekend for the murder of 16 women in Yemen -- eight of which were university students. Since the arrest students have been protesting the University's failure to investigate over 60 complaints that had been filed against the murderous morgue worker.

Omar was arrested following the persistent complaining by the mother of the Iraqi student that her daughter mysteriously disappeared last December. Omar allegedly charged the Iraqi student a fee of US$ 2500 in exchange for high grades in anatomy. When she failed to comply, Omar lured her into a small room in the morgue and killed her. Her mother, Karimah Mutlak, said she would like to kill Omar with her own hands and dismember him the way he dismembered her daughter: "My only dream now is to see the body of Mohammad Adam chopped into pieces as he did to all these girls," she said in an interview with the English-language Gulf News. "I would do it myself, with my own hands, in a public place in the middle of Sanaa if they would let me."

A Sudanese man suspected of raping and killing 16 women in Yemen was quoted saying he regretted his murder spree but had been unable to resist the urge to kill "beautiful women." The suspect, 45-year-old suspect, Mohammed Adam Omar, was an employee at the morgue of Sanaa University where he committed the murders. "I regret what I did and executing me will purify me from my sins," he said in the interview. Asked about his motive for the killings, he said: "Sometimes I used to hate what I did, but when I saw women, especially beautiful ones, something happened inside me that I could not resist at all."

He denied he sold body parts, adding that he used to kidnap his victims and take them to the university's morgue where he would hit them hard on the head until they died. Then he would skin them, cut off the hands and feet of his victims, dissolve them in chemicals, and keep the bones as mementos. He also tried to sell the hair of his victims, to be used in manufacturing wigs.

Though he was initially suspected of killing up to 16 women, Omar confessed to killing 51 murders over a 25-year period in Lebanon, Kuwait, Nigeria, Yemen, Jordan, and his home country, Sudan. As a child he allegedly enjoyed killing and skinning rabbits. By the time he was 22 he graduated to killing women. Police are also looking for three people closely associated with Omar and are suspected of being involved in the murders. Yemeni investigators had been sent to Jordan, Kuwait and Sudan.

A Sudanese man who worked in the morgue of Sanaa University's medical faculty, has confessed to killing a up to 27 women, 16 in Yemen and 11 in Sudan, and selling their body parts. Mohammed Adam, 45, confessed to killing 27 young girls and women. Officials said that before he came to Yemen, Adam had been in Israel in 1994 where he had spent three months in prison. He had also lived in Kuwait and Jordan, but been expelled from both countries. During his trial, Omar recanted all previous confessions, claiming he only killed the two women he was being tried for.

The only two bodies that have so far been found were those of an Iraqi student, Zeinab, and a Yemeni, Hosn, both of which were hidden in the faculty morgue. Police added that Adam was involved in the smuggling of body parts abroad for scientific purposes and may have had accomplices in the trade of bodyparts to other Arab countries for medical experiments. When he was arrested police said that Adam "tried to commit suicide by slicing open his wrists with glass from his spectacles." Yemen's parliament decided to form a commission to investigate the killings, a parliamentary source said, and the cabinet also discussed the murders, "insisting on the need to conclude quickly the police enquiry to explain the circumstances of the crimes."

On November 20 Omar was convicted of killing two women and sentenced him to death. The court ordered that the former morgue worker be executed by firing squad in the main square of the medical school. The court also ordered Omar to pay each of the victims' families 5 million riyals ($41,600) and ordered that two lecture halls in the school be named after the victims - Noor Aziz and Hoson al-Hamdani.


Panic on Campus!!

By: Jalal Al-Shara'abi & Mohamed Al-Qadhi

Yemen Times - May 28, 2000

The mass murder of 16 girl students at the Collage of Medicine, Sana'a university has caused a furor not only among students, but among Yemen's public in general. Mohammed Adam Omar Ishac, morgue assistant, a Sudanese national, has been savagely butchering his victims since 1996.

He was arrested following a complaint by the mother of the Iraqi student that her daughter mysteriously disappeared without leaving any trace in December, 1999, that she had not never left the college campus, and that she suspected Adam to be involved in the murder.

However, authorities concerned did not seem to be convinced about the Iraqi mother's story, and Adam was soon released to carry on his brutal acts of raping, killing, mutilating university girl students in a small room in the college morgue. As if that was not bad enough, he kept their organs for trading as he is believed to be a member of a widespread international network..

Last Friday, Adam was arrested again and was sent for Criminal Investigation in the Capital Secretariat. Primary interrogations, revealed that the accused confessed to murdering a Yemeni and an Iraqi medical student in the past.

Sources close to the college have disclosed that the college used to get human body organs from the suspect for high prices without even bothering where he was bringing them from.

It has been reported that 16 girls in Yemen and 51 in other Arab countries were killed by Adam. Social constraints made many families feel shy of reporting their daughter's disappearance from the college. They were ashamed of scandal.

But the Iraqi mother did not keep silent and persisted in her efforts to unravel the mystery. It is said that the killer tempted the Iraqi student of giving high marks in anatomy. He reportedly charged her a fee of US$ 2500 which she failed to comply. When she was about to reveal this, he lured her to his small room and killed her.

Many questions are raised about the modus operandi of this serial killer. Was he working on his own, or is he the leader f a racket?

Strict confidentiality is still maintained about the results of the interrogation which is continuing.

Security sources said that the man had sent pictures of and documents related to the victims, along with a cassette recording his brutal acts to some people in Sudan. The same sources added that a committee from the Ministry of Interior had flown to Sudan to investigate into this matter.

In written answers, Adam said he had been once arrested before in Lebanon on the same charge and that he had killed 67 girls; 16 in Yemen and 51 outside Yemen. He added that 8 of his victims in Yemen were university students. Those were deceived by promises of high marks in the anatomy paper. The others were from outside the college and were brought to the college through backdoors.

More than 60 reports had been sent to the competent authorities about the notorious activities of Adam. However all were pushed under the carpet. Adam says that he is not alone and that he was assisted by others whom he does not want to identify.

Students of the College of Medicine organized a sit-in strike at the college last Tuesday, 16 May. They demanded the administration to speed up investigations, announce investigation results, interrogate the College board of directors and the security and outline their future measures to avoid occurrence of such horrendous phenomena.

The Yemen Times was there at the scene and managed to take some photos. Many students were so livid that they could not talk to us.

Others were seething with rage and anger.

"What's happened perplexes everybody in general and we, women, in particular. One wonders, since the college knew that he was infamous, why did it accept him? What if he had other accomplices?

What will our fate be?," A.Y.H., Student of Medicine grade VI, exclaimed angrily. She said that he used to ask the girls to meet him in his office by entering through the backdoors of the college.

"Where are the security guards of the college? They knew that he used to sleep in the college. Didn't they know that he was killing, burying our classmates?," she blasts, shaking her fist.

"I cannot fancy myself looking on a teacher's face any more!," H.A., student of Laboratories grade II, said. "What the hell is the fittest punishment he should get?," she exclaimed. She deplored the negative role of the moribund security members who allowed him to stay at nights in the college premises and the College Board for accepting him despite the fact that he was accused of many immoral actions. "Just because he was on a low salary, did not mean they should accept him," she commented.

Why didn't the security men make sure that rooms are left by everybody here? Why didn't the college board notice that acid, by which the murderer burnt his victims' bodies, was always disappearing strangely in the laboratory? These were the questions she burst out before she got livid and burst into tears.

Taha Hussain, Student of medicine grade III and Secretary General of Students' Rights and Freedoms Committee, said that the crime was a result of security chaos. "Security men were all the time busy monitoring students' activities and checking cards while they were overlooking many incidents of theft, embezzlement and recently of brutal murders," he said. He added that complaints involving the behavior of the killer were sent to the authorities but to no avail.

"There are other complaints about abnormal behaviors by some people at the university which we will reveal at the appropriate time," he added.

How did Sudanese students at the College of Medicine react to the event? Student Q.M., grade II, said that the event has deeply affected all academics. However she hoped that the event would not damage relationships between the Sudanese and the Yemenis.

Akram Al-Saqqaf, grade VI at the college of medicine, commented not withstanding the ghastliness of the case, it would not have happened except in an environment contaminated by corruption and negligence.

"The weakness of administration at the morgue department and lack of alertness in it have provided a golden opportunity for the killer to commit his crimes." The lack of seriousness on the part of the college security men about their tasks and their concentration only on watching the students was an important factor for criminals to commit their crimes without being noticed. He said the whole incident was the culmination of the corrupt policy and what happened makes it an imperative for students to shoulder the security responsibility in the college.

The Palestinian student Shukria Jalal Mahmoud, a friend of Zainab, the Iraqi student, one of the victims of the medical college manslaughter said she could recognize the body of her friend by her hand. She spoke to Yemen Times reporter "I am a medical student at grade III and Zainab was one of my best friends. She had disappeared since Ramadhan last year. Shukria was wondering about who should be responsible for this act and who would be able to bring back those girls to their families.

On the other hand, the University Board of Directors issued a statement following its extraordinary meeting on May 15 stating the following:

1- Mohammed Adam, was sent to investigation for taking bribes on December 1999.

2- As he was proved guilty he was fired in the beginning of February, 2000.

3- When the Iraqi mother informed the college of the disappearance of her daughter, the college immediately informed the Criminal Investigation that carried on a field investigation until it unraveled the crime on May 12 when it found two bodies, one of which was of the Iraqi victim.

4- The college did dot receive any reports on other disappearing students.

5- Only two bodies were found at the college.

6- The University Board of Directors is following up results of interrogation of the administration until the completion of the investigation.


As 12 more mutilated bodies recovered in College of Medicine

Will The Mystery of The Serial Killer's Accomplices Be Revealed?


Yemen Times - June 4, 2000

Students of Medicine staged demonstrations and sit-ins to protest against the inhuman crime of Mohammed Adam at the Morgue of Sana'a University. Last Wednesday, about 5,000 students of Sana'a University demanded action against the University rector, the dean of the College of Medicine as well as all those who are directly or indirectly involved in the gruesome tragedy.

The demonstration which was led by the mother of the Iraqi victim, Zainab, marched from Sana'a University to the cabinet office where the cabinet was holding a casual meeting. A group of 6 demonstrators including Zainab's mother were chosen to meet with Prime Minister, Dr. Abdul Karim Al-Iryani. The Minister of Interior assured the demonstrators that investigations were going on and that anyone involved in the crime would be punished. On the other hand students insisted to continue their demonstrations.

Journalists were not allowed to take photos of the demonstration.

The camera of the corespondent of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi was snatched away while trying to capture demonstrators.

The Sudanese community in Yemen released a statement condemning the heinous crime of Mohammed Adam saying that it was an abnormal case which did not reflect the nature of Sudanese people with whom Yemenis enjoy warm relationship. Sudanese teachers at the Sana'a University also condemned the crime of Mohammed Adam describing him as a cannibal.

Following the students' demonstration, Prime Minister gave orders to suspend the dean, vice-dean, and all security guards of the College of Medicine.

How Far Has The Interrogation With The Accused Gone?

Criminal Investigation envisages a strict confidentiality about results of interrogation of the accused. Mohammed Adam, the prime accused in the serial murder case was produced before the magistrate on Saturday. According to reliable sources primary investigations have confirmed to have recovered 12 bodies out of the 16 that the accused is believed to have killed. Preliminary investigations have also revealed involvement of 4 accomplices in the crime.

The accused confessed to have committed the first crime in Yemen in 1995 when he killed Fatima, a Somali girl. He met her in Al-Tahreer square in Sana'a and was able to convince her that he was a well-known professor in the College of Medicine. She was lured by money and visited him at the college morgue where he had sex with her. Her visits were repeated. He confessed to have sex with her more than 12 times before finally killing her. In the same year 4 girls were killed, one of whom was 'Yasmin'. In 1996 he killed 2, one of whom asked him to provide her with some body organs. He asked her to come to the morgue. Her friend stayed outside waiting. As soon as she entered the morgue he sprayed some chemical substance on her face. As she fell on the ground unconscious, he felt that he might be at risk. So he called her friend in after he threw the unconscious body in the acids and repeated the same with her as well. Another victim was seen in a compromising pose with a friend.

He came to them and started giving them a lecture about Islamic morals. He blackmailed the girl into the morgue and killed her.

The accused said that the college was in disarray which gave him the opportunity to carry out his evil designs. He also said that he used to carry out his brutal deeds during daytime. As Yemen Times has gathered, he used to ask the victims to come to the morgue at 4 O'clock in the afternoons.

VICE MINISTER OF INTERIOR TO THE MOTHER OF THE IRAQI VICTIM: "LOOK FOR YOUR DAUGHTER IN THE DANCE-FLOORS."Still there are many questions which remain unanswered. According to the College of Medicine report which has been confirmed by the Criminal Investigation, the accused was first arrested in 1999 for taking bribes and spent a10-day term in prison. However, he was subsequently allowed to resume his duties. Many eyebrows are raised about the way the college security and the dean dealt with the mother of the Iraqi victim. She was dismissed by the dean when she came to his office who retorted he was not responsible for 5000 students. In addition, security guards used very abusive words against her indicating that her daughter might have eloped with a friend. The most reprehensible conduct in this incident relates to the Vice Minister of Interior, Muttaher Rashad Al-Misri who asked her to look for her daughter in 'flats' and dance-floors!


The questions are many and need careful investigation before the curtain is finally drawn. There is no doubt that the college authorities as well as the security guards are all responsible for spreading chaos in the college. One wonders: - how the accused was allowed to enter the college after the working hours of the college to wipe up all traces of his crimes.

- Why the suspect was allowed to work in the college although he gained notoriety as an immoral drunk and a drug addicted.

- if the authorities concerned would disclose the accomplices of the accused.

To conclude, Director of the Criminal Investigation, Brigadier Al-Kumaim, must follow up investigation and reveal the facts about the crime instead of accusing newspapers of fabrication and exaggeration.


Murky Conditions Prevalent in Sanaa Central Prison

By Yemen Times

Prisons have undeniably a significant role to play in all civilized societies. However, instead of being a system of rehabilitating perverts, prisons in our country have become more like a mechanism to inflict slow death. Once prisoners are thrown in jails, they acquire perverted manners having to live in close association with dangerous criminals. It is a well-known fact that criminals are not classified in our country. Therefore, innocent people and dreaded murderers all live under one roof and eat the same food on the same table. Just imagine how the state of an innocent poor unlucky citizen would be in such a dreadful atmosphere.

Now, let us take Sana'a Central Prison as an example. This prison is designed to accommodate 900 persons. Currently, there are more than 2300 persons jammed in this prison excluding 600 employees and guards. As a result of this, a room, with a 32 square meters area, is used to accommodate 46 prisoners. This crowded atmosphere creates a fitting atmosphere for diseases to spread easily and quickly. At present, a majority of prisoners in the Central Prison as other prisoners are diagnosed to suffer from pulmonary tuberculosis, not to mention all other sorts of diseases and illnesses.

For the time being let us forget about what was just mentioned and take a close look at the services that the Prisons Authority provides to prisoners. Those services include nutrition, medical care, training, cleanliness, rehabilitation as well as many others.

Can you ever believe that the Yemeni government in the Ministry of Interior allocates a 30 YR daily allowance for each prisoner? This meagre sum covers all services which are stated above. As a matter of fact, this was the allocated amount for each prisoner until 1998.

After then and until now, the daily allowance of each prisoner does not exceed 100 YR. Therefore, one cannot help thinking of how horrible the case of prisoners who do not have families and friends in the city would be. These have no visitors who would give them food, drinks and medicine once in a while.

According to the estimate of the Prisons Authority, there are 21 state prisons in Yemen which accommodate approximately 10,000 prisoners. Of this number there are 221 women (60 in Sana'a), 146 juvenile prisoners and 117 foreigners. The government has allocated 3 Billion YR for prisoners this year. 170 million YR of this amount is channeled to build a central prison in Marib, 154 to build a central prison in Amran and 142 to build a central prison in Dale'e.

Now, the question is: will this entire amount be used for serving the comfort of the prisoners ignoring what it was allocated for.

There are many stories which we would have liked to present to our readers but we are in want of space. In addition, we alone cannot continue investigating the conditions of prisons in Yemen because of the dangers that would be involved in this search.

Some one might ask what is the role of local, regional and international human rights organizations in solving this problem?

The answer is clear and simple. These organizations are simply decorative and are nothing more or less. Usually the people who work in these organizations are divided in two types. The first type constitutes the frustrated who cannot do any thing else and the others are the ones who use their organizations to make easy money.

In this report the Yemen Times tries to raise awareness about this case so as to carve out a probable solution. The conditions of prisoners must be improved. We must implement all that was stated in the International Declaration for Human Rights. The international agreements that are related to this topic are also stated in the sixth article of the Yemeni constitution.

This is not the first time for this case to be discussed. So many different local and international media have talked about it until they ran out of steam. Despite all the different calls, the efforts

to improve prisons conditions in Yemen have come to no avail.

The Yemen Times in its connection met Ahmed Al-Mowaled, Deputy Director of the Prisons Authority.


Q: What is the role of the Prisons Authority?

A: The Prisons Authority is one of the institutions that works under the authority of the Ministry of Interior headed by the Minister who sets the policies of the ministry in general. This authority is independent financially and administratively to tackle issues concerning prisons all over the country like nutrition, education, health and rehabilitation.

Q: How much does the Ministry of Interior allocate annually for the Prison Authority budget?

A: We have construction, nutrition, health and transportation budgets and each has certain specific amount of allocation.

Q: What is the number of prisons in Yemen?

A: There are 21 prisons in Yemen. Therefore, we started separating those who are still being interrogated and those who are under trial. Several prisons for provisional detentions are being constructed and all illegal prisons have been done away with. Our authority is only responsible for central prisons.

Q: What is the number of prisoners in Yemen and how many of them are women?

A: Administrators of prisons could give you the accurate number of prisoners. As for women they are very few forming 4% of the total number of prisoners.

Q: What about prisons for juvenile offenders?

A: A youth reform society was established in Sana'a to take care of juvenile cases. In addition, a part of the Central Prison was changed into a youth reform and care center and it is supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Q: In regard to juvenile offenders who committed murder crimes, we learned that one was sentenced to death and executed although he was not even 18. Is this true?

A: This is absolutely baseless. It is neither allowed by our Sharia nor our laws.

Q: How much is the daily allowance earmarked for each prisoner? Do you have separate allowance reports for each of them?

A: We have a daily allowance for each prisoner and the Administrative Affairs Department determines the amount of wheat, teaÉetc in grams per head.

Q: What is the main task of a prison?

A: It is to carry out sentences awarded by law courts. It is also a means of training and rehabilitating criminals. For this purpose, we have several training and other facilities established. The authorities have built two schools as well as a carpentry and sewing workshops inside the prison.

Q: Why does not the Prisons Authority work on establishing libraries for prisoners to provide opportunities to learn?

A: The ministry works in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Information and Ministry of Education to establish a school. We cannot hold any authority lack of a certain facility. Now, we are trying to find teachers, book and technicians to wore in the field of training and updating the level of education.

Q: Why are executions held inside prisons? Don't you think that this could have negative effects on other prisoners?

A: What is most important to us is carrying out the execution sentence. In addition, here in Yemen we allow the family of the murdered person to attend the execution. People who have killed other people in cold blood wouldn't be affected at the gunfire during the execution.

Q: Why does not the Prisons Authority try to find sociologists?

A: There are some sociologists financed by some sponsoring organizations to visit the prisoners.

Q: Do you think prisons in Yemen are well prepared to accommodate prisoners in view of the fact that some rooms contain more than 40 inmates?

A: We have established prisons for provisional detention in order to annul all other form of custody in police stations and prosecutions.

Q: Why doesn't the administration prohibit prisoner from chewing


A: The administration prohibits employees and soldiers from chewing

Qat, but we really cannot prohibit prisoners. However, we can study this problem and find a solution to it.

Q: When will the Prisons Authority work for classifying prisoners and organize their imprisonment period?

A: There is a classification system followed in all central prisons.

We classify prisoners according to whether they have committed big crimes or minor crimes. This is done by a wing of the prosecution which is found in every central prison.

Q: Diseases spread in prisons; How could this problem be tackled?

A: We have doctors appointed by the Ministry of Health and there are about a dozen of them. We really have not received any report in this regard.

Q: Why doesn't the Prison Authority follow the cases of some prisoners which reportedly linger for years and the prisoner is forgotten?

A: There is an organ of the prosecution that takes care of these procedures regarding the period each prisoner will have to spend in prison. The problem is that we receive people who are either still being interrogated or are undergoing trials. Though we try our best to exclusively keep central prisons for prisoners who have been awarded their sentence.

Copyright(c) 1997-99 Yemen Times. All rights reserved.


Adam Stands Trial

Yemen Times

June 4, 2000

Mohammed Adam Omar, the prime suspect in the serial murder case was produced before magistrate, Yahia Mohammed Al-Salami on Saturday in the Secretariat Court of Appeal in the presence of advocate Dr. Mohammed Al-Khatib as the defendant's lawyer and advocate Ismael Al-Deilami as the victims families'. He confessed to having killed 16 students, out of whom 8 were university students.

The accused confessed to selling the victims' gold for YR 2 millions by Yasmin Al-Alawadhi who fell in love with him and whom he killed when she told him that she was pregnant. He said that he regretted killing her for he might have had a good relation with her.

More than 5000 students led be Zainab's mother staged a demonstration last Wednesday in front of the Ministry of Interior demanding action against the University Rector, the dean of the College of Medicine, as well as all those who are involved in the gruesome tragedy.

Primary investigations have confirmed to have recovered 12 bodies out of the 16 victims. In addition they have revealed involvement of 4 accomplices in the crime, 3 of whom are foreigners and one is Yemeni.

Following the angry demonstration of students, Dr. Al-Iryani gave orders to suspend the dean, vice-dean, and all security guards of the college of medicine Hamdan tribes, to which one of the victims belongs, threatened of taking revenge, demanding the authorities concerned that the accused, as well as his accomplices be punished by the same way the victims were killed.

All student sectors condemned the crime and appealed to President Saleh to interfere to set the University in the right path.

The second session in the Secretariat Court of Appeal is scheduled to be held today.

On Sunday morning around 10,000 university students staged a silent demonstration headed for Presidency Office. The demonstrators demanded that Adam's accomplices be revealed and stand trial. The demonstration was accompanied by strict security measure in precaution of any incidents.

On the other hand, chairman of Labor Trade Union at Sana'a University, the chairman of General Union of Yemeni Laborers Association, held Mohammed Ahmad Al-Jonaid, Minister of Civil Service, partially responsible for the Medical Faculty crimes.

Mr. Ali Mohammed Al-Hubaishi said in a statement that the minister had refused earlier on 24.12.1991 instructions of the President to consider dispensing allowances and incentives for university technicians so as to give them the opportunity to replace their foreign counterparts. He added that the minister has personally refused to sign the decree of the ministry of civil service and Sana'a University to grant these technicians risk allowances in accordance with the law. He said that the minister was actually the main obstacle behind the replacement of the foreign cadres by Yemeni technicians. "Had the minister responded positively to these decrees and reports, there would not have been such crimes", he said.


"Mass killer" confesses in Yemen

May 17, 2000

A Sudanese medical assistant arrested on suspicion of raping and murdering up to 16 women in Yemen, is reported to have confessed to killing 11 other women in Sudan.

Mohammed Adam Omar worked in the morgue at the university in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

The 45-year-old suspect was arrested on Friday. Yemeni investigators have been sent to Jordan, Kuwait and Sudan.

About 300 students demonstrated outside Sana'a University demanding the government's resignation over the case. Students earlier staged sit-ins demanding swift action against the Sudanese suspect.

Partial 'confession'

Reports quote Yemeni police officials as saying that Mr Omar had admitted to killing 11 women Omdurman, in Sudan.

He has not confessed to killing 16 women in Yemen since 1996, for which he was arrested.

According to reports, Mr Omar has lived in Kuwait and Jordan, and was expelled from both countries. He is also believed to have lived in Israel, where he served a prison term for an unspecified crime.

Police said Mr Omar had tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists with glass from his spectacles, but was overpowered by officers.

Sana'a University said in a statement on Tuesday evening that it had only been contacted by two families about the disappearance of two students. The university had fired Mr Omar in February for corruption.

Yemen's parliament on Tuesday announced the formation of a commission to investigate the killings.

Macabre details

Only two of the bodies of his alleged victims have been discovered so far - one an Iraqi, the other a Yemeni student. Both were found hidden in the university morgue.

Mr Omar is believed to have smuggled and sold body parts from his victims abroad for experimentation and transplants.

He is also believed to have used the bodies of his victims during autopsy lessons he conducted at the university.

Police are reported to be searching for three other individuals who are close associates of Mr Omar and are suspected of being involved in the smuggling of body parts.


Killer admits international murder spree

May 29, 2000

A Sudanese man who confessed to raping and killing 16 women in Yemen has admitted murdering 11 women in Sudan and several others in Kuwait, Chad and central Africa.

Mortuary worker Mohammad Adam Omar pleaded guilty to the new charges on the second day of his trial in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

"The charges are true. This is what I confessed to willingly and by choice," he told the judge.

The prosecution says the crimes were committed at the Teaching Hospital of Khartoum University, and elsewhere.

Yemen's local media believe that the man they are calling the Sana'a Ripper murdered more than 50 women over 20 years.

Even he says he has lost count of the number of women he has killed.

Body parts

The 45-year-old, who worked at the mortuary at Sana'a University, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of raping and murdering 16 women, including at least six students, since November 1995 and April 2000.

He is also suspected of selling the victims' body parts.

The remains of 15 victims were found buried on the university campus or inside the sewerage system at the faculty of medicine.

A defence lawyer appointed by the court failed to turn up at Monday's hearing. Mr Omar told the court he did not need a lawyer.

"I cannot defend what I did. What has happened has happened," he said.

"If I do not receive punishment I might go back to my crimes again," he told the court.

The prosecution has demanded the death penalty.


Prosecuting lawyers say Mr Omar has hated women since he was seven years old - when his mother committed adultery and his father killed and cut her lover to pieces.

"I never trusted a woman since that day.

"I don't believe that my son is my son and I don't believe that my children are my children," Mr Omar said in his confessions read by the prosecutor.

He is believed to have a Yemeni wife as well as a son and daughter by a Sudanese woman from whom he is divorced.

The prosecutor said that stealing gold from his victims was another motive for Mr Omar's crimes.

He said Mr Omar had a Yemeni woman accomplice who he later killed.

The judge ordered the remains of one of the victims, an Iraqi medical student, to be released to her family and adjourned the hearing until Saturday.


Twist in Yemen "mass killer" case

June 3, 2000

The trial in Yemen of a Sudanese man charged with raping and murdering 16 women took a strange turn on Saturday when he withdrew his confession to 14 of the killings, and one of his alleged victims turned up in court.

The accused, Sana'a University mortuary worker Muhammad Adam Omar, said at a hearing in the Yemeni capital that he had only killed two female students - an Iraqi and a Yemeni.

His statement provoked uproar at the trial, which has shocked Yemen and sparked protests among Sana'a University students, who have demanded his execution.

Mr Omar last week caused public outrage when he confessed to the murders of the 16 women in Yemen, a further 11 in Sudan, and others in Kuwait, Chad, and the Central African Republic.

But in court on Saturday, he told the judge: "I only killed two students: Hosn Attiya, a Yemeni, and Zainab Saud, an Iraqi."

In the courtroom, a relative of the murdered Iraqi student slapped a Sudanese diplomat and accused the prosecution of burying the truth. The man was immediately arrested.

A lawyer representing the family of the dead Yemeni student walked out of the courtroom in disgust.

'Victim' in court

Reports said Mr Omar retracted his earlier confession when one of the women whose murder he had claimed turned up in court.

Mr Omar was last week shown a photograph of Nada Yassin, who had been mistakenly listed by police as missing since 1998. He said he had killed her, describing the murder in detail.

But on Saturday, Nada Yassin was in court, wearing a black cloak with only her eyes showing through her veil. She told the judge she wanted to set the record straight because the press had reported her death.

Judge Yahya al-Aslami told her to remove her veil and asked her sister, Aisha, who was also in court, to confirm her identity.

As soon as she uncovered her face, her sister cried and embraced her. "This is my sister," Aisha Yassin told the judge.

Ms Yassin's family lives in the United Arab Emirates and had travelled to Yemen after reading press reports about her death.

The Associated Press said two other women had contacted the news agency on Saturday, saying they were university medical students who had been reported murdered by Mr Omar.

Newspapers printed a list of the 16 alleged victims based on Mr Omar's own confessions.

He told the judge on Saturday: "I killed only two women. They accused me of killing 16 women and I said yes. I don't know why I said I killed the others."


The prosecution said it had proof he had been involved in more than two murders.

According to forensic reports, body parts belonging to five people were found at the Sana'a University medical school morgue.

Before bringing the session to a close, the judge decided to reopen all investigations into the case.

The murder trial resumes on 5 June.


Yemen body parts sent to Germany

June 27, 2000

Dozens of bodies and body parts found in a university mortuary in Yemen are being sent to Germany for DNA testing, to see if they belong to victims of the suspected serial killer Mohammad Adam Omar.

A court in Yemen heard that German forensic experts who searched the mortuary found 21 complete bodies, two sets of mutilated remains and dozens of parts.

Mr Omar earlier confessed to raping and murdering 16 women at Sanaa University, and said he had also killed more than a dozen women in Sudan, Kuwait and Chad.

He later retracted his statement and said he had killed only two women.

The German experts called in to examine the mortuary - where Mr Omar worked - have been able to confirm that at least two of the women whose remains were found had been murdered.

The women, one from Yemen and one from Iraq, are the two victims whom Mr Omar admits killing.

But the German experts also believe not all the bodies they found in the mortuary were listed in records.

They say some had been used to train medical students at the university, but at least eight bodies remain unidentified and their presence in the mortuary is still unexplained.

The German report to the court also said the numerous parts they found "could come from many different bodies".

Many of the bodies were found buried in the campus grounds, or hidden inside the sewage system in the medical department.

Presiding judge Yahya al-Aslami ordered that all the bodies and organs should be sent to Germany for DNA testing.

The court will reconvene on 4 July to hear reports from Yemeni officials.

Mr Omar, 52, was arrested in May on suspicion of the 16 murders, but there has been confusion over some of the women's fate.

One reported victim even appeared in court to prove that she was alive and well.


Student revolt over Yemen killer

Angry crowds at the University

Yemen Times - Tuesday, 30 May, 2000

Students at a Yemeni medical school where a mortuary worker admitted raping and killing 16 female colleagues, are taking university officials to court.

"The students union has decided to file a criminal suit against university administrators and security guards for failing to carry out their duties," a statement said.

The General Union of Yemeni Students accused officials at Sana'a University of "negligence and incompetence" during the four years in which Mohammad Adam Omar confessed he committed his crimes in Yemen.

He lured women into the university morgue, where he raped them, strangled Them and cut up their bodies.

BBC Middle East correspondent Frank Gardner says the students refuse to Believe that Mr Omar was working alone and some are convinced he had an accomplice at the university.


Mr Omar, who is Sudanese, has also admitting murdering women in Kuwait and the African states Chad and Central African Republic.

Sources close to the case say the remains of 15 victims have been found buried on the campus of Sana'a University or inside the sewerage system at the faculty of medicine.

Students at Sana'a University say officials failed to act on parents' complaints about their missing daughters.

The students have been on strike since Saturday and they have taken to the streets to demand the sacking of senior officials and an investigation into the possible involvement of other suspects.

Protest threat

More than 10,000 students marched through the Yemeni capital on Sunday.

The union said it would call off the protests, but warned that, if students detected "any attempt to undermine the case or be lenient with any of those involved" it would stage nationwide protests.

The union is dominated by the ruling General People's Congress party.

On Monday, the killer said he did not need his lawyer in court because there was no defence for what he had done.

"If I do not receive punishment I might go back to my crimes again," he told the court.

Mr Omar faces death by firing squad. The trial has been adjourned until 3 June.


Mortuary murderer sentenced to death

November 19, 200

A court in the Yemeni capital Sanaa has sentenced a Sudanese man to death for the brutal murder of two young women in the university mortuary where he worked.

Mohammad Adam Omar, known as the "Sanaa Ripper", confessed to strangling his victims, chopping them up, dissolving them in acid and throwing the remains into a sewer.

Unless he appeals successfully within 60 days he will be shot by firing squad or beheaded.

Prior to that he will receive 80 lashes for alcoholism.

The 53-year-old initially confessed to raping and murdering 16 young women.

And he said that he had left a trail of murder not just in Yemen but also in Kuwait and several African countries.

He is believed to have smuggled and sold body parts from his victims to foreign buyers for experimentation and transplants.

And he is said to have used the bodies of his victims during autopsy lessons he conducted at the university.

However, he retracted most of his confession in June after one alleged victim turned up in court.

University liable

German forensic scientists who examined corpses in the mortuary confirmed that the two women were Mr Omar's victims.

University staff including doctors at the medical faculty were questioned in connection with the case because of police suspicions that he had not acted alone.

The court ordered the university to pay over £30,000 in compensation to the victims' families.

The case was only brought to light at the insistence of the family of one of the victims, Iraqi Zeinab Saud Aziz.

Students held mass protests demanding that the killer be executed and his corpse put on public display.

They accused the university authorities of negligence and incompetence for failing to stop the killings.


Yemen "ripper" executed

June 20, 2001

The Yemen authorities have executed a Sudanese morgue worker who was convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering two female students at Sana'a University.

A police firing squad shot dead 52-year-old Mohammad Adam Omar, who has been dubbed in the local press as the "Sana'a Ripper", in a square near the university complex as thousands of Yemenis looked on.

He was shot five times in the heart after receiving 80 lashes for drinking alcohol, which is banned under Yemen's Islamic law.

His body was then taken away by ambulance from the public square, dubbed the Medhbah or slaughterhouse, in central Sana'a.

The spectators included the families of the dead students, who were Yemeni and Iraqi nationals.

Policemen prevented cameramen and photographers from recording the event.


In November a Yemeni court sentenced Omar, a morgue worker at Sana'a University's medical school, to death for the murder of Hosn Ahmad Attiya, a Yemeni national, and Zeinab Saud Aziz from Iraq, both nursing students.

He was arrested in May last year on suspicion of raping and killing 16 women after the bodies of 21 female students were found buried on campus or hidden in the university's sewers.

Omar initially confessed to all the murders but later retracted his statement and said he had only killed the Iraqi and Yemeni students.

Wednesday's execution raised to 11 the number of convicts executed in Yemen so far this year.

The Arab state implements Islamic Sharia law, which sets execution as the punishment for murderers, rapists and drug smugglers.


Sana Journal; A Fittingly Gory Finale To a Sordid Murder Case

By JOHN F. BURNS - The New York Times

August 14, 2001

When death came to Mohammed Adam Omar Ishaak, it was as cruel and grisly as the legend built around him at a sensational trial last autumn, when he was convicted of raping, killing and dismembering two female medical students at the University of Sana.

With his execution on a plot of open ground on this city's outskirts this summer, Mr. Omar, a Sudanese morgue attendant, returned to the front pages of newspapers across the Arab world. From his arrest 18 months ago, the 49-year-old man exercised a ghoulish fascination for millions of readers, who came to know him by his tabloid nickname, ''the Sana Ripper.''

But much about the trial, including curious shifts in the prosecution's case at the trial, and Mr. Omar's frustrated efforts to offer a version of events different from that of the prosecution, worried many Yemenis. A common view, voiced widely in Sana's bazaars, was that Mr. Omar may have been the scapegoat in a wider sex-and-murder scandal, possibly involving dozens of murders, that might have involved powerful figures protected at the trial.

So when Mr. Omar was led out to the execution ground on June 22, before a crowd estimated by witnesses at more than 30,000 people, there was a widespread sense among ordinary Yemenis that the last chance of learning the truth was about to die with him. Was Mr. Omar a solitary, heavy-drinking, woman-stalking psychotic, as the prosecution charged? Or was he a lowly, barely literate fall guy in a coverup of a high-level prostitution ring?

The most widespread theory among those who doubted the prosecution's case against Mr. Omar was that the medical school morgue may have been accustomed to disposing of the bodies of young women who had somehow become victims in a scandal involving exclusive brothels in Sana. That such brothels exist in Yemen, as they do in many countries in the Middle East, is not seriously disputed; nor is the fact that they often enjoy high-level protection.

For its part, the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and senior officials at the medical school, vigorously denied from the outset that there was anything amiss with the trial. Senior government officials, before and after the execution, noted that Yemen has a long history of high-level intrigue that gives currency to virtually any rumor floated in the bazaars -- however bizarre -- and, crucially, that Mr. Omar pleaded guilty at his trial.

But such reassurances cut little ice. ''Sana Ripper Gone Forever!'' declared a headline in The Yemen Times, an English-language newspaper published in the Yemeni capital, one of several newspapers here that routinely challenge the government on sensitive issues, often provoking crackdowns. ''The general belief among the public is there are partners and motivations for committing these crimes, and those partners may amazingly be among the highest classes of the society,'' the newspaper said.

In its verdict in November, a Sana court ordered that Mr. Omar's sentence be carried out at the medical school, before a gathering of the faculty and students. In the end, this was modified, so that the event was staged outside the school's gates.

According to Yemenis who witnessed the execution, Mr. Omar, 49, was forced to kneel by the soldiers who formed the execution squad, then pushed face down onto the bare ground, before being lashed 80 times across his back with a whip of knotted leather. The additional punishment was ordered after Mr. Omar admitted at his trial to having drunk alcohol -- a common practice among Yemenis in the privacy of their homes, but a serious offense under Shariah, the Islamic legal code enforced in Yemeni courts.

After the lashes, with Mr. Omar still lying prone, a police officer braced himself with his legs either side of the condemned man, and fired three rounds from a Kalashnikov assault rifle aimed vertically his upper back, at a point calculated to penetrate his heart, according to Yemenis who witnessed the execution. When Mr. Omar continued to move, the officer fired again, this time at his head. His body was taken to a secret burial place undisclosed even to his family.

Yemeni newspapers reported that Mr. Omar made a last, unsuccessful appeal to be allowed to make a statement about the morgue killings as he was led, head erect and hands cuffed behind his back, to the execution ground.

According to Mr. Omar's lawyer, Mohammed Ali al-Khatib, this continued a pattern set early in the case. Mr. Khatib, a law professor at the University of Sana, recalled in an interview at his home that Mr. Omar was given only one chance to make a statement of his own, away from police and prosecutors, and that this came during a preliminary stage of the trial last year, when Mr. Khatib was allowed to see Mr. Omar in prison.

But even that meeting was short, Mr. Khatib said, when officials from the Political Security Organization, a shadowy agency widely feared in Yemen, overheard Mr. Omar saying he wanted to give a version of the killings different from the account of the prosecution. The officials abruptly ended the encounter. ''We had five or six minutes together, no more,'' Mr. Khatib said. ''And that was the last time I was ever able to speak to him alone.''

Abrupt changes in the prosecution's case fed rumors of a coverup.

Originally, the prosecution presented a confession by Mr. Omar saying he had killed 51 women during years of working around the Arab world. As inconsistencies came to light, the state shifted, saying there had been only 16 victims, all in Yemen, and that Mr. Omar had only ever worked previously in his native Sudan, as a Khartoum hospital gravedigger.

Finally, that version, too, was abandoned, and Mr. Omar was charged at the trial with the murder of only two women, both medical students, one Yemeni and one Iraqi, pieces of whose bodies were found in the morgue's drains.

The families of both women want the case reopened. But the government has refused, saying its own review showed Mr. Omar acted alone. Yemen's new foreign minister, Dr. Abubaker al-Qirbi, an endocrinologist who was the founding dean of the medical school in the early 1980's, was sharply critical of the school during the trial for its lax procedures, particularly for failing to keep accurate records of cadavers used in its dissecting rooms. But in an interview, Dr. Qirbi said that it was time to move on. ''It's a closed issue,'' he said.

This argument carries little weight with Mr. Khatib, the lawyer. ''I believe we will ultimately know the truth, with the passage of time, and my personal belief is that when we do we will finally know that Mohammed Adam Omar never killed anybody,'' he said.



June 22, 2001 - Mohammed Adam Omar - Sana University's morgue killer, Mohammed Adam Omar, was executed in front of a crowd of 30,000 people. Originally he was going to be executed in front of the University where he killed two students, but the government moved the execution to a lot outside the city. The Sudanese morgue attendant -- nicknamed the "Sana Ripper" -- confessed to 16 murders but was convicted of only two.



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