WJWC issues report on 2007 press freedoms
It said that direct attacks on journalists increased during the first half of 2007, pointing out that 33 violations were registered.
WJWC affirmed that the rate of violations intensified remarkably.
This is the first time in which we issued a half-year report on press freedoms in Yemen. Because we want to highligtened on violations committed against journalists and make them known for public opinion and all concerned actors. We wish that rights and freedoms are protected.
While 2006 was distinguished with the increase of trials against newspapers and journalists, direct attacks on journalists was the prominent violations in 2007. We noticed that the rate of violations remarkably increased.
We did not register, in this report, violations committed against journalists for reasons other than opinion and publications, though they are violations against rights and freedoms as happened with Zaid al-Ghabri, killing of al-Thawri Newspaper distributor, Arif al-Zuraiqi, numerous violations committed against the owner of al-Mustakelah Newspaper Ahmed SaifHashid and its distributors.
We did not register violations that are continuing from the last year. Scores of trails are still ongoing against journalists and newspapers, particularly against the newspapers of al-Wahdawi and al-Thawri. Our report did not include those issues which we thought they were personal differences between journalists and other people. It also did not include the deprivation of some people and foundations from having newspapers. The ministry of information only give permits for only two persons from about 65 applications to have journalists.
Our report did not include threats through calls because it was difficult to verify them. It did not include official defamation and incitement against journalists by senior officials. All these things will be included in our last report in 2007.
Registration of violations
1- On January 23, 2007, three soldiers tasked to guard the cabinet attacked the correspondent of the Emirati newspaper of al-Bayan Mohammed al-Ghubari when he attended to cover a press conference of Yemen's Prime Minister and his Jordanian counterpart.
2- On January 30, 2007, pursuits against Faud Rashid by the chief of the criminal investigation in al-Mukla because he criticized the performance of security leaders in Hadhramout in al-Nahar newspaper.
3- On January 30, 2007, the journalist Najeeb al-Yafa'e, the editor-in-chief of al-Nass Press and Basheer al-Sayed, an editor of al-Nida Newspaper were threatened by officers of the Criminal Investigation in Sana'a City because they published violations against Anisah al-Shuaibi.
4- On January 03, 2007, an issue of al-Watan magazine was seized and barred from distribution by the Information Ministry on the ground of publishing a dialogue with the Joint Meeting Parties' candidate Faisal Bin Shmlan.
5- On February 01, 2007, Editor-in-Chief of al-Wahdawi Newspaper Ali al-Saqaf was arrested by the Press and Prints Prosecution to execute a former sentence which provided to ban al-Saqaf from writing for six months and fining him Yr 550,000 due to a publication case.
6- On February 11, 2007, Editor-in-Chief of the weekly al-Muharir Newspaper SabriSalimayn was seized in al-Rayan Airport by the Political Security and the eighth issue of the newspaper was suspended for 36 hours.
7- On February 13, 2007, a sentence of one year in jail was issued against Abid al-Mahdazi, Editor-in-Chief of al-Deyar Newspaper.
8- On February 13, 2007, the Press and Prints Prosecution issued a direction to arrest Abdul-Kareem al-Khaywani, Editor-in-Chief of al-Shura Net due to a case filed against him by the Defense Ministry because he published a news story about al-Badea Airport in al-Mukla and topics about the National Bank in which the name of …….. was mentioned.
9- On February 19, 2007, the writer Anisah Mohammed Othman was insulted and defamed by al-Distoor Newspaper which is reportedly funded by security services. Anisah Mohammed Othman published a number of articles in which she criticized the government in al-Wasat Newspaper.
10- On February 30, 2007, the correspondent of the al-Ra'ay al-Aam newspaper in the town of al-Qatan Hassan al-Hadad was threatened when he was summoned to the office of al-Qatan's director-general. He was investigated on the ground of publishing press articles about taking over cemeteries and antique sites, as the newspaper stated.
11- On February 12-25, 2007, al-Shura Net news website was blocked due to news stories about Saadah war. The website was accused by a military-stated newspaper, 26 September, with betrayal and terrorism.
12- On March 04, 2007, al-Wahdawi newspaper was stormed into and its editor-in-chief Ali al-Saqaf and an editor, Muadh al-Maqtari, were taken into the jail by force.
13- On March 04, 2007, two leaders of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Sami Ghalib and Hamdi al-Bukari and an editor of al-Nass Press Najeeb al-Yafae were attacked by guards of the Criminal Investigation's guards in Sana'a City. They were prevented from visiting Ali al-Saqaf and Muadh al-Maqtari, and weapons were pointed at them.
14- On February 02, 2007, Abdul-Kareem al-Khaywani, Anisah Othman, Mohammed al-Maqaleh and Rashidah al-Qili were threatened and incited against them by a military-run, 26 September newspaper on March 06 2007. They were accused with betrayal and conspiracy against its security and future. They were accused after they took part in a TV show on Saadah war which was broadcast by al-Alam Newspaper.
15- On March 19, 2007, a journalist, Ameenah al-Hindi, was fired from al-Hudeidah radio after she broadcast a news story that she had not been officially employed by the radio for 15 years.
16- On March 03, 2007, the columnist Abdullah al-Faqeeh was shot by unidentified men after he published articles in al-Wasat newspaper in which he slammed the government.
17- On March 19, 2007, the correspondent of Aljazeera Ahmed al-Shalafi was threatened and insulted by security soldiers due to broadcasting a report on refugees.
18- On March 03, 2007, the journalist Mohammed al-Maqeleh was threatened by unidentified men on the ground of publishing critical articles in the newspapers of al-Wasat and al-Nida.
19- On March 28, 2007, the primary court held its first session on a publication case against the weekly al-Muharir newspaper and its editor-in-chief on charges of insulting.
20- On May 08, 2007, the correspondent of al-Ayam newspaper in Amran governorate Abdul-Hafez Muajib in Amran governorate by guards of Director-General of Amran district on the ground of publishing financial preaches.
21- On May 16, 2007, al-Eshtraki news website was blocked due to publishing articles about Saadah war.
22- On May 15, 2007, the designer of al-Balagh newspaper Sabari a-Darwani was detained by members of the Political Security.
23- On May 19, 2007, the correspondent of al-Ayam newspaper Maha al-Sharjabi was seized when she prepared an investigation on food provided to patients in al-Jomhori Hospital.
24- On May 19, 2007, the correspondent of al-Ayam newspaper was assaulted in Ibb by guards of the Endowment and Guidance Ministry's office when covering a training course held for imams of mosques and religious guiders. His camera and cell phones were confiscated.
25- On May 25, 2007, the ministries of tel-communication and information directed MTN to suspend the services of al-Nass SMS and Women Journalists Chains' SMS under the pretext that they have not licenses.
26- On May 27, 2007 , the ministries of tel-communication and information directed Saba Phone to cut the services of al-Nass SMS and Women Journalists Chains' SMS under the pretext that they have not licenses.
27- On May 27, 2007, the journalist Rashad al-Shara'abi was attacked by members of the political security in Saba Hotel.
28- On May 30, 2005, the correspondent of al-Ayam newspaper Bushra al-Amiri was intercepted and seized by policemen in Taiz Street, Sana'a city, when taking photos of families in an area in which a police camp is existed.
29- On June 31, 2007, the camera of al-Arabia TV was seized by soldiers of the Special Forces when covering an explosion occurred in a weapon depot in Nokom Mountain.
30- On June 05, 2007, Mahmoud Taha, a correspondent of al-Wahdawi newspaper in Amran Mahmoud Taha was threatened with physical elimination after publishing an investigation in al-Shara'a newspaper about Saadah war. Gunmen stormed into his house and intimidated his wife and children.
31- On June 06, 2007, Editor-in-Chief of al-Nida newspaper Sami Ghali and its editors were threatened by unidentified individuals with physical elimination if they don't stop publishing about enforced disappearance.
32- On June 13, 2006, the correspondent of Aljazeera Abdu Aish was assaulted by security soldiers in Movenpick Hotel. He was prevented from covering the second conference of childhood protection.
33- On June 20, 2006, the journalist Abdul-Kareem al-Khaywani was arrested by individuals of the National Security after his houses was stormed into. He was further taken and assaulted infornt of his family on charges of promoting for Houthi ideologies. He is still held at the Central Prison.