Court sentence bans journalists from writing [Archives:2004/739/Front Page]

May 20 2004

Three journalists were sentenced Monday to 3-5 months in prision and banned from writing on charges of publishing reports that abuse ethics. The Southern Court of Sana'a sentenced former Editor of al-Asboo Weekly, Jalal al-Shara'abi, to three months imprisonment while the two journalists who wrote the report, Naif Hassan and Fuad al-Rabadi, received suspended sentences of 5 months imprisonment. All were temporarily banned from writing.
The newspaper published in early 2003 a report on the sexual acts practiced by school girls which the Ministry of Information has deemed unethical and filed a lawsuit against the journalists at the press and publications prosecution.
Lawyer of the journalists, Jamal al-Jubee, described the verdict as an attack on press freedom, and stated his intention to appeal against it. He said this behavior on the part of the Information Ministry is dangerous for no-one has sought the court in this issue which means nobody has been hurt by the report.
Last month journalist Saeed Thabet was sentenced by the same court to a 6 month ban from practicing journalism and writing on charges of publishing false information on the attempted assassination of Colonel Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh.