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Woman journalist freed in Yemen but press freedom violations continue

Protests in Yemen too: A Yemeni demonstrator, center, shouts slogans during a rally calling for an end to the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sana'a, Yemen, Thursday, January 27, 2011.

Yemeni journalist and activist Tawakkol Karman was released Monday, two days after her arbitrary arrest in Sana'a. Charged with “inciting disorder and chaos” and organizing unauthorised demonstrations and marches, she was freed on condition that she does not violate “public order and the law” again.

Karman has been a leading figure in a three-week-old wave of protests demanding political reform in Yemen which has been inspired in part by the protest movement in Tunisia. She was freed after several thousand people participated in a sit-in outside the public prosecutor’s office this morning to demand her release.

Aqil Al-Halali, a correspondent for the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Ittihad, was briefly arrested Monday for covering a march in support of Karman in Sanaa. He was questioned for half an hour and then released.

The day's issue of the newspaper Akhbar Aden was seized because of its coverage of clashes in Khormaksar (in the southern governorate of Aden) between police and demonstrators demanding South Yemen’s secession. According to the newspaper’s editor, officials said the issue was confiscated for containing separatist slogans.

Abdel Khaliq Al-Hawad, a journalist who works for Akhbar Aden, was arrested in Aden on January 22 as he tried to cover a demonstration staged by an opposition party and civil society organizations in protest against previous arrests of protesters and the army siege of the town of Ridfan.

Date posted: January 27, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 156