Amidst large-scale controversy on the law and competition for the chairmanBeginning of Journalists conference next Saturday [Archives:2004/713/Local News]

February 19 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Preparations are going on for the holding the third general conference of Yemeni journalists scheduled to be held in Sana'a next Saturday amidst possibilities of its postponement despite of the formation of committees entrusted with preparations. In case of failure in holding the conference in its due time, some parties hold the present council of the journalists syndicate responsible for that failure.
The parliament had in its session last Saturday approved to return the draft law of the Journalists Syndicate to the government under its request in order to conduct more study of it, especially after the journalists had demanded its withdrawal. A heated discussion on the journalists law had taken place at the parliament between representative of Islah Dr Mansour al-Zindani and Sultan al-Burkani, representative of the GPC bloc at the parliament.
Preparations for the conference come amidst criticisms against the syndicate's council by the journalist because the council did not distribute text of the draft law to be studied by journalists and to give suggestions about it and also for amending some articles in the present rules of procedure of the syndicate. According to statistics the general assembly of the syndicate consists of 986 members, the majority of whom are affiliated to official establishments and are estimated to form two thirds of the assembly, while many members representing non-governmental media were prevented from entering the hall where the general assembly was gathering for fear from any troubles that might, especially that many foreigners attend such activities.