CPJ honors Jamal Amer [Archives:2006/989/Front Page]

October 12 2006

Yasser Al-Mayasi

SANA'A, Oct. 14 ) For his press freedom contributions, Jamal Amer, Al-Waset Editor-in-Chief, will be honored along with four other international journalists by the New York-based Committee to Protect the Journalists

The award ceremony will be made on Nov. 21, timed with the anniversary for establishing the committee.

The committee said these five journalists risk their lives to cover news and reveal truth despite threats, assaults, attacks and imprisonment.

Additionally, the committee will honor late al-Arabia correspondent, Atwar Bahjat, who was killed working in Iraq last February.

“We honor these brave journalists, belonging to different world areas, for their solidity in bringing out news stories despite risks and bad conditions,” said the committee's head of board of trustees.

For his part, Joel Simon, the committee's executive director, extolled the bravery of these journalists, revealing some risks journalists face.

“Criticizing authorities' abuse of power, exposing corruption and covering news from the front lines in local conflicts are some ways journalists use while doing their tasks,” said Simon, explaining the difficulties these journalists face daily.

The press statement issued by CPJ described Amer's al-Waset Newspaper as one of most neutral and independent Yemeni newspapers.

Exposing corruption, addressing religious extremism and political issues resulted in a number of threats and terrifying attacks against al-Waset's reports and editors, according to the statement.

Amer himself faced persecution when four men, believed to be security affiliates, attacked him and then detained him for 6 hours, accusing him of receiving money from the governments of America and Kuwait while warning him not to criticize officials.

Amer was also subject to threats following to his paper's publication of three reports, including officials' exploitation of scholarships provided by the state to send their sons instead of those who deserve them.

Later, Amer was subjects to harassment and his family was kept under the government's watch.