Follow the news on Yemen News Since he wrote articles in 2006 criticising the re-election of Ali Abdallah Saleh, the government-run press has not accepted a single article from Al-Mawari. “When an independent newspaper accepts one of my articles, it runs the risk of being prevented from printing”, added Al-Mawari. He said he had not written a single article for the independent press in Yemen in the past three months, so as not to give the authorities extra reasons for banning the newspapers. Receive email alerts “The international community should urgently come to the aid of Yemeni civil society before it is too late,” the organisation added. Help by sharing this information Elsewhere, Reporters Without Borders has had no news since 18 September of journalist Muhammad Al-Maqalih, who went missing in mysterious circumstances. His colleagues meeting in the capital Sanaa on 20 October for their weekly gathering repeated a call for his release. Organisation February 26, 2021 Find out more News United Nations: press freedom situation “deeply worrying” in Yemen, according to RSF to go further “The only way to defeat this is to put pressure on the powerful,” he said, in a bid to alert international public opinion about press freedom in Yemen. He was reacting to recent statements by a top intelligence services official, denying any state involvement in the disappearance of Al-Maqalih. The newspaper’s editor, Samir Jubran, was sentenced in the same case on 31 October to a one-year suspended prison term and a one-year ban on exercising his profession. The secretary general of Yemen’s journalists’ union, Marwan Damaj, condemned the verdict which he said was the harshest sentence against Yemeni journalists since 1990. “The goal of this sentence is (…) to silence Yemeni journalists who are trying to deal with sensitive issues with vigour and courage”, he added. The editor said that as far as he was concerned the sentence amounted to banning the newspaper itself. Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the decision of a court specialising in press offences that sentenced journalist Munir Al-Mawari of independent weekly Al-Masdar in his absence to two years in prison for libelling President Ali Abdallah Saleh and also banned him for life from working as a journalist. Al-Mawari, who has lived in the United States since 1994, told Reporters Without Borders that the sentence was “absurd”. “It is ridiculous to condemn someone for what they write. There is no law in any country that allows a ban preventing someone from writing. I have done nothing illegal, but it is clear that this decision was made by the president himself, even though in the article I only criticised his policy, I did not criticise him as a person”. Yemeni journalist killed, nine wounded in Aden airport explosions November 3, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Convictions and bans pile up against journalists amidst unacceptable indifference January 6, 2021 Find out more News YemenMiddle East – North Africa Several newspapers have been the target of censorship in recent weeks for attempting to cover military operations in the north and south of the country. Even before its editor’s conviction, Al-Masdar had been ordered by the authorities to delete some articles in its 13 October edition. Issue no 61 of the newspaper Al-Watani, dated 18 October, was also seized because of an article about rebel operations in the south of the country. The newspaper Hadith Al-Madina had its no 18 issue withdrawn from newsstands on the unilateral order of the information ministry, on the pretext that the distributors had not provided him with a copy of the newspaper for prior approval. It carried an article by its editor, Fakri Qassem, analysing the impact of current conflicts on Yemen’s socio-economic situation. The case against the two Al-Masdar journalists related to an article published in May this year, headlined “Weapon of mass destruction”, in which Al-Mawari criticised the conduct of the war against Shiite rebels in the north of the country. Yemeni journalist Abdelkarim Al-Khaiwani, receiving a press freedom award in Algiers on 28 October, publicly accused the authorities of having abducted Al-Maqalih. “The security services kidnapped my colleague, we must show solidarity”, he said after receiving the Omar Ourtilane prize awarded by Algerian daily Al-Khabar. News Reporters Without Borders was relieved to learn of the release on 30 October of freelance journalist Saddam Al-Ashmuri, who was arrested in Marib, 120 km east of the capital on 22 October, just after he interviewed Ghalib Zaidi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the region. Fixer for foreign reporters held in Aden for past five months February 11, 2021 Find out more YemenMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en “The aim of these convictions is to gag Yemen’s independent press once and for all. It is unacceptable that a government or even a judge should ban journalists from writing, whether for a limited period or for life”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
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