Arab Press Foundation Watch condemns violations of press freedoms [Archives:2004/758/Local News]

July 26 2004

The Arab press foundation watch issued a strongly-worded statement of condemnation in response to recently-committed violations to press freedoms in Yemen. The infringements included the suspension decision against Al-Shoura newspaper issue number 491, the permission given by the ministry of information for the publication of a newspaper that closely resembled the weekly Al-Shoura newspaper, (the mouthpiece of the opposition Yemeni Union of Public Powers Party) and the summoning of editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Mr. Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, by the Public Prosecution without specifying clear charges. In addition, the editor-in-chief said to the official of APFW in Yemen that he had received threats to be physically eliminated by a caller using a phone with a hidden identity number.
The organization expressed its regret of the serious setbacks to press freedom in Yemen which would have a negative effect on the democratic experiment to this country at a time when the world was believing that Yemen had abandoned the single-mandate system, in favor of the foundation of a system based on law and order, and the respect of political rights and information pluralism.
The organization expressed it utter support to Al-Shoura newspaper and to its editor-in-chief and to the stances of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in defending freedom of the press. It confirmed that it would closely monitor the situation and developments related to the freedom of the press in Yemen, and at the same time, it called on the Yemeni authorities to withdraw the publication permit granted to the other newspaper if it would sustain the obvious similarity to Al-Shoura newspaper, and to reconsider decision against Al-Shoura newspaper issue 491 and to bear the responsibility of protecting the editor-in-chief from encountering any coordinated assault.