Five suspended sentences cap year of mounting difficulty for press

first_img RSF_en News Help by sharing this information December 28, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Five suspended sentences cap year of mounting difficulty for press Receive email alerts Yemeni journalist killed, nine wounded in Aden airport explosions Reporters Without Borders today condemned the suspended prison sentences passed on 26 December on five journalists, culminating a year in which at least 24 press freedom violations have been registered in Yemen and the harassment of journalists by means of summonses, prison sentences or physical attacks has become common.”These frequent crackdowns on the press create a climate of intimidation that makes it extremely difficult for journalists to work,” the press freedom organisation said.Firmly condemning the use of imprisonment to sanction press offences, Reporters Without Borders pointed out that the latest suspended sentences were in complete contradiction to President Ali Abdallah Saleh’s promise in June to “work to put an end to prison sentences for press crimes.”Suspended sentencesAbdelwahed Hawache, the editor of the weekly Al Ihiya al Arabi (“The Arab Renaissance”), and his deputy editor, Abdel Jabbar Saad, received six-month suspended sentences for an article criticising the Saudi royal family. Abderrahmane Abdallah, the editor of the weekly Al Tajamaa (“The Gathering”), got a six-month suspended sentence for reporting that a Libyan citizen tried to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah, while a one of his journalists, Nabil Sabie, got a four-month suspended sentence for the same article.Hamid Chahra, the editor of the weekly Al Nass (“The Men”), received a three-month suspended sentence and was fined 50,000 riyals (183 euros) for libel because he referred to the corruption prevailing in Yemeni political circles.Physical attackSadiq al Jarrash, the editor of the weekly Al Zajil, was on his way to work on 20 October when his taxi was rammed by a car whose occupants then attacked Al Jarrash, beating him and his bodyguards and stabbing him in the hand. Noting that the victims saw the car’s number plate, Reporters Without Borders called on the authorities to investigate the attack properly, in order to identify and punish those responsible as soon as possible.One-year prison sentenceA Sanaa court sentenced Abdulkarim Al Khaiwani to a year in prison on 5 September in response to a complaint by the Yemeni information ministry accusing his newspaper Al Shoura (“The Advice”) of supporting an anti-government rebellion by Shiite leader Badr Eddin al Hawthi and libelling President Saleh. Al Shoura was also suspended for six months.Reporters Without Borders called on the authorities to free Al Khaiwani at once and allow his newspaper to reappear.Press brought to heelAll of the journalists contacted by Reporters Without Borders described the current situation of the press as very difficult. Hamoud Mounasser, Sanaa bureau chief of the pan-Arab TV news station Al Arabiya, said international television stations have to send all their news dispatches through the national TV station, whose executives vet each item. Mounasser said they had already blocked one of his stories on a sensitive subject.Self-censorship is therefore the rule. Journalists know they should not criticise the president or the government or refer to the corruption in political circles.As a result of these violations, the Yemeni parliament recently named a commission to investigate the closure of several newspapers by the government and the information ministry’s respect for the law. Questioned during the most recent parliamentary session, on 26 December, information minister Hussein Al Awadhi claimed that there have been no press freedom violations and that all decisions have been taken in accordance with the law.In 2004…- 9 journalists received suspended prison sentences- 2 were detained- 4 were physically attacked- 1 was threatened- and 7 were summoned for questioning. to go further February 11, 2021 Find out more There were at least 24 press freedom violations in Yemen in 2004. Summonses for questioning, prison sentencesand physical attacks on journalists have become common. Reporters Without Borders condemns the crackdowns onthe press, which create a climate of intimidation that makes it extremely difficult for journalists to work. Follow the news on Yemen January 6, 2021 Find out more News YemenMiddle East – North Africa Organisation News Fixer for foreign reporters held in Aden for past five months United Nations: press freedom situation “deeply worrying” in Yemen, according to RSF YemenMiddle East – North Africa News February 26, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more