Al-Khaiwani’s crime was publishing Sa’ada war news [Archives:2007/1065/Front Page]

July 5 2007

Moneer Al-Omari
SANA'A, July 4 ) With the recent terrorist attack in Marib, the war against terror tide has taken a higher pitch in Yemen, sweeping a few innocent people in its way.

Abdulakrim Al-Khaiwani is a well known Yemeni journalists who had been in the news for quite a while between 2005 and 2006 because of becoming a prisoner of conscience for over 7 months. He was released with a presidential pardon, but now he is locked up behind bars again.

“You did not deserve the presidential pardon bestowed on you, your place is in prison” said one of the five officers wearing civilian cloths who dragged him from his home after beating him in front of his family over two weeks ago.

Yesterday, Wednesday 4 July, the Penal Court presided by Judge Najeeb Al-Qadri held its first session in the trail of what is called “Sana'a Second Terrorist Cell”. The cell which includes two women, contains 15 members. Of which, Al-Khaiwani is allegedly one.

Head of the specialized Penal Prosecution Sa'eed Al-Aqel pointed out the suspects used to distribute letters aiming to terrorize people and society, together with raising funds for buying medicines for Houthi followers and attempting to shift war to the capital Sana'a.

The prosecution also accused Al-Khaiwani of providing media support as well as promotion of Houthi their concepts together with publishing Sa'ada war news. Although the head of the prosecution denounced the way security men arrested Al-Khaiwani.

During the session, Al-Khaiwani hinted the court is unable to quit him or even to convict him. He also refused to answer the questions directed by Judge until he consults with his lawyer and gets a copy of the case file. He also asked for including all the violations committed against him in the case file as well as setting him free until the [media] charges are proven.

Al-Khaiwani's lawyer Khalid Al-Anisi remained silent throughout the session in protest against the in way in which the board of judges and the prosecution deals with lawyers and suspects alike.

Armed gang

As for the other 14 members of the terrorist cell, they were accused of forming an armed gang to perform terrorist acts as well as planning to harm the country and its security. The cell is being tried for killing to military officers while on duty. The cell was also accused of planning to plant explosives in various important state institutions.

Among the terrorist acts the cell was accused of is using poisonous materials, secret ink, and telecommunication systems as well as explosives and arms targeting military and security personnel. Apparently the terrorists were going to add poison to the army's drinking water reservoirs.

Although Al-Khaiwani has only began his second ordeal with the state judiciary system, it sounds only too familiar to him. The trail was delayed until 18 July, and despite his lawyer's efforts he will remain in custody until then.