Annas [Archives:2005/805/Press Review]

January 6 2005

3 January 2005
Main headlines

– Diesel shortage in capital secretariat, rise in cooking gas price

– Eman University in a press release:

What mutamarnet has published, mere lies

– Sheikh al-Ahmar demands interrogation with Bajammal's guard because they know who tried to attack him

– JMP mention that al-Khaiwani issues confirms the country's need for a comprehensive political reform

– Bajammal denies his responsibility for the dose

– Teachers' Union calls fro rejecting the dose

Writer Ali al-Fakieh says despite that the year 204 has seen the opening of the world conference of democracy and human rights attended by 280 participants from 52 counties in addition to tens of representatives of civil society organizations, the joy did not last long. The authority changing its face so that press freedom has faced a year full of violations, trials and imprisonments has surprised the local community. At the end of February, press circles were suddenly surprised with kidnapping the journalist Saeed Thabit following his election as member of the council of the journalists syndicate. A few days later, he was put into political security prison and then sent to prosecution on charge of fabricating news regarding attempted assassination of Colonel Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, commander of the republican guard. After standing trial, he was sentenced to deprivation of practicing writing for six months.

Before that incident, immediately at the conclusion of journalists conference journalist Najeeb Yabli was detained on charges of writing an article. The year has also witnessed many incidents of detention and harassments against journalists. During the year of 2004, the Shoura weekly newspaper and its editor in chief Abdulkareem al-Khaiwani were accused of offending the president of the republic and the national unity. He was then tried and sentenced to one-year imprisonment and the suspension of the newspaper for six months. A few days before the end of the year 2004, three court convictions of imprisonment were issued against four leading journalists, in addition to other sentences against other journalists. Thus, the year 2004 was a dark one for press and freedoms in general. Some have explained the authority dealing with press in that manner in order to make it busy in defending itself and to remain accused so that it would not go beyond certain lines the authority deems as red.