French Cultural Center closed [Archives:2004/717/Front Page]

March 4 2004

The French Cultural Center and School in Sana'a were closed Saturday for security reasons, a French embassy diplomat said Monday.
He said that the embassy received instructions to tighten security measures around French interests, and that after consultations the embassy decided to close the French cultural center and school while the embassy and the French center for Yemeni studies remained open.
A security officials showed surprise at the news and said that the French embassy did not ask for any intensified security measures around the embassy or other French interests in Yemen.
The French cultural attache reports of the news agency Saba that French interests offices were closed.
He said that journalists can visit the embassy premises to make sure it is open. However, news reports did not say that the French embassy was closed.

YT journalist harassed
Meanwhile, while trying to take a snapshot of the French center in Sanaa, YT journalist Mohamed bin Sallam was harassed by police standing right by and was prevented from taking a photo of the building.
He was told that such action is against the law, and some attempted to confiscate his camera. He was held for some time before he could be released after extensive calls to the ministry of interior, police authorities, the Yemeni Journalist Syndicate (YJS), and others. “I cannot believe that police forces are still harassing journalists while on duty. Where is freedom of the press?” bin Sallam said.
Mr. Mahboob Ali, chairman of the YJS expressed anger and outrage at the action of the police and said that he would meet with the Minister of Interior and request immediate investigation into the case and would ask for a solution for this phenomenon once and for all, especially as most Yemeni police forces still believe they have the right to stop anyone holding a camera in any place for any reason.