Hassan Al-Zaidi under siege [Archives:2003/658/Local News]

August 11 2003

Sanaa, August 9 – Yemen Times journalist Hassan Al-Zaidi remains under siege at his house in Sanaa as security forces continued to surround his home for the second week. In a phone conversation with the Yemen Times, Al-Zaidi said he was under threat of being arrested by security forces for his articles in the Yemen Times. “They have surrounded the house and I am kept prisoner in my own home for more than 7 days now. I plead to international organizations and human rights activists to act swiftly to end this siege.”
Furthermore, Al-Zaidi said that two of his brothers have been arrested by the security and are now in detention. “They have taken my two innocent brothers as hostages and now they are eager to arrest me as well. These arrests are illegal and are a major human rights violation.” he added.
It is worth noting that an arrest campaign had started more than a week ago against Al-Zaidi tribesmen following a confrontation near the presidential complex in Sanaa. However, Hassan Al-Zaidi claims that this arrest campaign did not target all Al-Zaidi members. “This siege and arrest attempt is only due to my reports and not because I is member of the Al-Zaidi tribe. This whole issue of my tribe is a mere justification.” he stressed.
Even though Al-Zaidi had been arrested several times in the past for his writings, he was never subject to a trial or legal prosecution.