Journalist Charged with Infidelity [Archives:2000/25/Front Page]

June 19 2000

A number of mosque preaches in Taiz, Sana’a, Hodiedah and Aden last Friday called for the closure of Al-Thaqafiah newspaper (a weekly cultural newspaper published in Taiz) for publishing ‘Sana’a is an open city’, a novel by the late Yemeni novelist Mohammed Abdulwali. The preachers said that the novel helped spread concepts of communism and atheism. Secretary general of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (an Islamic Party), Mr. Mohammed Al-Yadomi, (from Sana’a) phoned the chief editor of the Al-Thaqafiah, Mr. Sameer Al-Yosofi (from Taiz) and threatened him with closing the paper. In this context, preachers are intending to send a memorandum to President Ali Abdullah Saleh demanding acceleration of the newspaper’s closure. The President of the Republic gave orders to investigate the problem, according to Al-Thawrah newspaper issued on Saturday, June 17th.
Mr. Al-Yosofi was summoned by the Press and Publication Prosecution on Sunday, June 18th. He is likely to appear before court on Monday, June 19th.
Mr. Al-Yosofi said that the novel was taught at universities and that ‘Sana’a is an open city’ was presented as a radio series in the 1980s. He wondered about the campaign against him which he described as being political. In addition, he said he was ready to go to court to see if he was guilty or not.
On the other hand, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) has released a statement supporting the Al-Thaqafiah and its chief editor and condemning the aggressive campaigns launched against him. Journalists are irked by the infidelity campaigns launched every now and then against eminent personalities of the country.