Journalists without Chains demand a newspaper license [Archives:2007/1047/Local News]

May 3 2007

SANA'A, May 2nd ) Journalists without Chains demand to establish their own newspaper was denied on 2nd of May by the Ministry of Media. Ms. Tawakul Karman, Director of the organization, told Yemen Times that this act by the Ministry of Media was a deliberate attempt in order not to allow civil society organizations play a more active role in the democratic development of the country.

She said that Under Secretary of Media Mr. Mohammed Shaher stated that the organization has no right to publish a Newspaper, and that he, in the name of the government, will deny Journalists without chains the license to publish or operate a newspaper.

Karman indicated that this action is in continuation of the Ministry's desire to limit freedoms in the country, adding that over 60 requests to establish newspapers since 2006 has been rejected. Karman told Yemen Times that this action by the Ministry of Media is in violation of the country's constitution and laws, which guaranteed for all Yemeni citizens and organizations the right to expression, was it visual, verbal or in a written form.

“The Yemeni Law, she added, has given civil society organizations and political parties an advantage to only notify the ministry of media about their publication for registration purposes, for which the ministry should respond to the notification within a maximum of ten days”.

She also commented that they are not required by law to receive a license from the ministry in order to publish their newspaper, and that the Minister of Media Hassan Al-Lawzy, indicated that they will not give the organization a license, however, she can still apply for a license for a privet newspaper under her own personal name and liability and so she did but still her request was denied.

Karman concluded that the organization will continue demanding the license because, she said “this is our constitutional right and we will not rest until we exercise it, and rejecting our demands is a violation of our rights of expression as defined in Yemeni laws and constitution”

Journalists without Chains is a non-governmental organization seeking to foster and advocate the rights and freedoms, particularly freedom of opinion and expression, democratic rights, advocate of women's issues and defend their right to equal participation in political and public life, works to promote a culture of good governance, fight corruption, and engage young people in advocacy for change and reform.