Al-Shoura editor before appeals prosecution [Archives:2004/756/Front Page]

July 19 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
Sana'a 17 July- Editor in Chief of al-Shoura newspaper Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani had Sunday appeared before appeals prosecution at the capital secretariat to look into a law suit raised by the ministry of information against the newspaper. Details of the complaint were not disclosed by the press and publications prosecution that had summoned Mr al-Khaiwani last Saturday and his lawyer had attended instead.
The ministry of information had earlier given its orders for confiscation of the Shoura newspaper no. 491 upon a complaint the newspaper raised against the ministry for publishing a newspaper bearing the same heading called Minber Al-Shoura which aroused large-scale reactions and the action was denounced by the political parties grouped in the JMP, considering that by that measure the ministry had put itself as a direct adversary to pluralism, democracy and the freedom of expression. Those reactions are seen as emphasizing legitimacy of the demand for canceling the ministry of information and the press prosecution in resemblance of what is done in the democratic countries.
The parties, comprising the JMP, had last Thursday called on the authority to respect the constitution and the law away from what they had described as directives of “suppression, despotism and confiscation”. Press circles were taken by surprise with the publication of a newspaper bearing the same heading of the “Shoura” weekly, organ of the People's Forces Union Party of Yemen, and titled the Minber AlShoura.
In a letter addressed to the ministry of information the, the Shoura newspaper demanded to rectify the situation and to oblige the Minber
Al Shoura newspaper to change its heading and logo in a way that would not resemble its own and also to change the color as well as printing its name in a clear manner in compliance with the law. The newspaper held the ministry of information responsible for any damage entailed by granting license to the Minber Al Shoura newspaper in that form.
On its part the Arab Organization for the Freedom of the Press denounced what happened to Al-Shoura newspaper and its editor in chief considering that a violation of the right to opinion and expression and presenting an image in harmonious with what the ruling system claims of commitment to international agreements and charters pertaining to respect of the freedom of the press and safeguarding of human rights. The London-based organization addressed on Friday a message to the Yemeni authorities, calling them to not to give permission to the Minber Al Shoura newspaper to issue with the same specifications to the Shoura newspaper and to back off from the decision of the administrative retaining of the issue no. 491 as it was not based on legal pretexts and also to protect the life of the journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani and other members of the newspaper staff.