CPJ urgents President Saleh to condemn attacks against journalists [Archives:2005/896/Local News]

November 21 2005

The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) expressed grave concern on Monday about the

recent assault on Yemeni journalists. In a letter to His Excellency President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the CPJ condemned the assault of a number of journalists in Yemen including the recent assault on Subaie which is only the most recent example in a frightening spate of violence against the press. On November 12 Subaie, who contributes to the opposition newspapers Al-Thawri, Al-Shoura, Al-Nida'a and Al-Tajammu, was attacked by two masked gunmen who stubbed him in his right arm and upper back.

Videographer Mujeeb suwailih, cameraman for Al-Arabiya news channel, and Journalist Najib al-Sharabi, correspondent for Al-Ekhbariya channel, were attacked on November 4 by security officers while they were covering a strike by employees of a public textile factory in Sana'a. Both journalists were detained for several hours at a nearby police station where they were threatened by the same officers who attacked them earlier. The Yemeni Ministry of Interior said it would launch an investigation into the attack, but no police officer has been held responsible as yet.

On August 23, four men seized Jamal Amer, editor of Al-Wasat newspaper, and bundled him into a waiting car. Amer said the men punched him, accused him of getting funding from the U.S. and Kuwaiti embassies and warned him about defaming unspecified ” officials.” Amer said he believes a car used in the abduction belonged to the Yemeni Republican Guard. Amer's newspaper has criticized corruption, nepotism, published the names of relatives of the government officials who receive educational scholarships abroad, scholarships which otherwise should go to merited students who achieve excellence in their studies.

In July, Hajji al-Jehafi, editor of the weekly newspaper Al-Nahar, was wounded when a letter bomb addressed to him exploded.

CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper urged President Saleh to publicly condemn such brutal attacks against the media and to personally ensure that appropriate enforcement authorities conduct thorough, transparent, and expeditious investigations so that the assailants are held accountable to the full extent of the law.