Journalists prevented from attending conference inauguration [Archives:2004/702/Local News]

January 12 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
660 Arab and foreign personalities in addition to 200 Yemeni journalists showed up at Sana'a's Regional conference on Democracy, Human Rights and the Role of the International Criminal Court .
In the press conference held Saturday by Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi Yemen's Foreign Minister, he said it was expected the participation of 200-250 Arab and foreign personalities but the surprise was the arrival of more than 660 personalities until Friday night and that more are expected to arrive within coming hours.
He added this conference comes out of the desire by the EU through the organization of “No Peace Without Justice” which prepared for the conference and that the dialogue which is to take place between the participating states about democracy shall open a window for a quiet Arab-European dialogue without intervention in the internal affairs of respective countries.
Moreover he confirmed the participation of all the Arab countries and that this is considered a good indicator. During this press conference most of the journalists expressed their anger due to preventing them from attending the opening session.
Some of them said it was in the interest of Yemen not to invite so many journalists from their respective countries if it is incapable of allowing them attend the opening session.
The said the government did not provided suitable circumstances for free movement and that computers were equipped only with Arabic software and that there were no fax machines with international access available. Other journalists expressed their extreme anger at the chairmanship of the preparatory committee that failed to deal with such an important happening through ill preparation, insufficient equipment and the disregard shown at the media and journalists which augurs the failure rather than the success of the conference due to the information covering.