Fighters from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula reportedly distributed a statement throughout Yemen’s eastern Hadramout province yesterday curtailing women’s participation in public life. According to the Arabic media, the statement bars women from carrying out basic daily activities, such as going to public markets, a staple in a country like Yemen, without the accompaniment of a “mahram,” a male relative whom they could not lawfully marry.

The statement also prohibits women from participating in sports such as soccer as well as from sitting in coffee shops, deemed a “pastime prohibited by Islamic law.” Locals in Hadramout said the statement declared that the aforementioned prohibitions would go into effect on the morning of July 21 and that AQAP would take the appropriate measures if sharia is not implemented.

In addition to addressing women’s activities, reports claimed that the statement also expressed the group’s intention to establish an Islamic emirate in Yemen led by Nasir al Wuhayshi, who serves as both the leader of AQAP and as al Qaeda’s general manager. AQAP has allotted the people of Hadramout 10 days to study the statement before its fighters return to discuss avenues for the implementation of sharia. […]