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Repression continues in Yemen

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) continues to be very concerned about the repression to which journalists have been exposed in Yemen since the start of a wave of street protests. In the past few days, journalists have been arrested, media have been attacked and newspapers have been confiscated.

Journalist Ali Salah Ahmed was arrested Tuesday evening at Sana'a airport on his return from a visit to Germany, and was forcibly taken away to an unknown location. His arrest was apparently linked to his support for the street protests.

After being fired as programme director at the state-owned TV station, he worked for the privately-owned satellite TV station Suhail, which is considered being close to the opposition party Islah. The station has been providing live coverage of the demonstrations.

Mohammad Ahmed Al-Mohammadi, a Suhail journalist who also writes for the independent weekly Al-Siha wa Al-Nas, was abducted by members of the Republican Guard on the evening of April 16. His brother said the family had not heard from him since he got a phone call summoning him to Republican Guard headquarters. The same Republican Guard members previously used threats to try to get him to resign from Suhail and work as an informer.

Gunmen stormed the headquarters of the Media Foundation (Shoumou’ lil-Sahifa wa Al-I’lam) in Aden on the morning of April 18, attacking several of its employees.

The same day, Republican Guard members seized copies of independent weekly Hadith Al-Madina, including copies about to be sent to the governorate of Taiz. They were confiscated because of a column by editor Fikri Qasim headlined “Mullah Ali Saleh” making fun of a comment by President Saleh about “illegal mixing of sexes” at anti-government demonstrations. Following Saleh’s comment, many women writers, including Hamdi Radman, a reporter for the Imanat news website, were attacked during demonstrations.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the security forces also seized copies of the Akhbar Al-Youm, Al-Oula and Al-Shari’ independent dailies on April 15, attacking the driver of the vehicle carrying the newspapers.

Abdallah Mukarim, the editor of SyonPress (www.syonpress.com), a news website based in the governorate of Hadramaout, received threats on 17 April after posting an article about corrupt practices in the province.

Individuals threatened and attacked Hamoud Al-Hashemi, a reporter for independent daily Al-Oula, on April 15 because of his coverage of demonstrations in the province of Taiz.

Date posted: April 20, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 55