AOPF asks for extra margin of freedoms [Archives:2006/963/Local News]

July 13 2006

SANA'A, July 12 ) In a statement forwarded to President Saled, Arab Organization for Press Freedom (AOPF) asked for the reopening of Al-Shoura Newspaper, and raising the siege set upon closed newspapers, internet websites. It also called for opening doors for press and opinion freedoms in support of democracy and in response to overwhelming wish for changes invading Yemen, as in all Arab countries.

The call reads:

Dear President Saleh,

AOPF wants to express its appreciation to Yemen for the important role it plays in the Arab peninsula. It is the only country who adopts media and political polarity which comes into existence through long struggle of Yemeni people against the Imamates in the north and British colony in the south. The polarity system will be the only way out for defending and protecting the country and its people against all risks when change winds blow on the unified Yemen.

In the name of press freedom and in defense of citizen's right of expression and opinion, we ask you to direct concerned authorities to cease the occupation of Al-Shoura Newspaper headquarter which has been closed for more than a year and reinstate its employees, allowing more freedom of expression and opinion in Yemen, particularly when you announced your participation in the upcoming elections after hesitation and abandonment.

Yemen, which conducts local and presidential elections this year, should give the best example for opening doors of freedom of opinion and expression for all Yemeni people, as long as it is expressed in a peaceful way.

Some rulers are afraid from citizens' wish of change by resort to imposing further restrictions on mass media and expanding the extent of security practices regarding silencing people and screening web sites. We, in AOPF, want Yemen not to be of such type, but an example of freedom which people take pride in.

We join voices to our Yemeni friends' voices who are concerned for the continuous screening of web sites and closing newspapers. We appeal to Yemeni President, Prime Minister and authorities to open windows for press, opinion and expression freedoms.

Best Regards,


Ibrahim Nawar