Calls for establishing private TV and Radio channels renewed [Archives:2004/726/Local News]

April 5 2004

Calls to allow the emergence of private TV and Radio channels have been renewed recently by the intellectual community in Yemen. The Shoura newspaper has recently held an extensive survey requesting opinions of officials, media personalities, businessmen and intellectuals and results to the survey have proved that there is a strengthening position in support for such a move.
Recently, a number of initiatives were taken by Yemeni businessmen and intellectuals to start new private TV stations in Yemen. Among them was the project of establishing “Democracy” channel, whose initiator, Sheikh Abdulqawi Al-Shuwai committed himself to establishing the channel as soon as conditions permit so it could serve as a democracy enhancing tool that would support freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, hundreds of prominent personalities have signed a petition in which they supported the 'Democracy Channel' project and pledged to support a law that could be passed from the parliament to allow free electronic media in Yemen.
Among the supporters is prominent personality General Muslih Ayyash, who invited political parties including the Opposition Joint Meeting parties to support the 'Democracy Channel' and has pledged to support the initiative fully.
It is worth noting that Yemen has always stressed on democratic reform, but the government has fell short of allowing the private sector to establish TV and Radio channels.