Alarm sounded after daily is closed and two of its journalists get two years in prison

first_imgNews Yemeni journalist killed, nine wounded in Aden airport explosions Follow the news on Yemen January 10, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Alarm sounded after daily is closed and two of its journalists get two years in prison RSF_en News January 6, 2021 Find out more February 11, 2021 Find out more YemenMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders wrote to Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh today voicing great concern about a growing crackdown on the news media in which the independent daily Al Hurriya (“Freedom” in Arabic) was closed for a year by a Sanaa court on 29 December while its editor, Abdulkareem Sabra, and one of its journalists, Abdulqawi Al Qubati, were sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour.The press freedom organisation said it found these measures all the more incomprehensible as President Saleh has on several occasions voiced his support for press freedom and his desire to abolish prison sentences for press offences. “Never has a journalist received such a heavy prison sentence since Yemen was reunified,” Reporters Without Borders said, calling on the Yemeni authorities to reverse these measures and to respect the undertakings they have given as regards the independence of the news media.Sabra and Al Qubati were convicted because of an article criticising the president that appeared on 6 October. The newspaper was already withdrawn from sale in October and its licence was suspended. Aged 60, Sabra is currently hospitalised with diabetes. His home has been put under police surveillance. Al Qubati is a fugitive from justice. Their lawyers have appealed.Their conviction has aroused great concern among Yemeni journalists, who say they have lost confidence in the country’s judicial system and no longer believe in the president’s promises.In response to the court’s one-year closure order, police went to the premises of Al Hurriye on 3 January, evicted all the staff and sealed the entrance. Some 20 journalists and contributors have been put out of work.The most serious other case in recent months has been that of journalist Abdulkarim Al Khaiwani, who was sentenced by a Sanaa court 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 Khaiwani has been held in the main Sanaa prison for the past four months while his newspaper has been put under a six-month closure order. Receive email alertscenter_img News United Nations: press freedom situation “deeply worrying” in Yemen, according to RSF Fixer for foreign reporters held in Aden for past five months February 26, 2021 Find out more Organisation to go further News YemenMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information last_img

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