Journalists show solidarity with Al-Maqaleh [Archives:2007/1033/Front Page]

March 15 2007

By:Mohammed bin Sallam
SANA'A, March 14 ) Dozens of journalists and political activists gathered Wednesday at the Sana'a-based Yemeni Journalists Syndicate to show their solidarity with Socialist journalist Mohammed Mohammed Al-Maqaleh, who was subjected to threat of physical elimination for his pro-Houthi writings.

The congregators denounced the threatening of their colleague Al-Maqaleh by a group of armed men in front of his house this past Sunday. They also denounced recent assaults on journalists, together with violations of their rights.

They further stressed the importance of restoring the spirit of solidarity among them and hunting those involved in attacks against their colleagues.

Likewise, the journalists condemned accusing Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, editor-in-chief of the Public Forces Union's, of Houthism, a charge was directed at him by an official web site. They also criticized government fomenting against journalists over covering the Sa'ada events, considering such step a dangerous setback threatening both press and general freedoms.

They also showed solidarity with their colleagues at Marib Press, who have been threatened many times, and further denounced blocking the web site, indicating that such a step is a continuation of Yemen's totalitarian past and an offense to its democratic experience.

The recent period has witnessed the highest rates of threat, assault and harassment against media personnel. Further, media outlets have been banned from covering news about Sa'ada, with authorities considering any such coverage as an act against Yemen, support for Houthis and a service to their plans.

For their part, the Yemeni Socialist Party general secretariat warned authorities and security apparatuses on Monday about returning to assignations and physical elimination policies against party leaders and staff.

In a press release, the secretariat assured that what happened to Al-Maqaleh, a Central Committee member and deputy head of the media department, is within the context of aggressive tendencies by some parties in the authority against the Socialist party and its staff.

The release maintained that, “The authority is responsible for any delay in hunting those armed men who threatened Al-Maqaleh,” and demanded investigating and trying the perpetrators who frightened the journalist's family and neighbors.

The party added that the threat against Al-Maqaleh comes within the context of suppressive campaigns and terrorist acts against Yemeni journalists with the aim of silencing them about massive violations against human rights and citizens.

It also stressed the importance of the journalists syndicate, human rights organizations and political parties showing solidarity with each other to pressure Yemeni authorities to bring to justice those responsible for such violations.