Minister of Information orders closure of al-Shomu’a newspaper [Archives:2002/08/Local News]

February 18 2002

The Ministry of Information ordered the closure of the independent al-Shomu’a weekly newspaper, on Feb. 3, 2002.
The closure resulted from the ongoing dispute between the Minister of Information and the al-Shomu’a ‘s editor-in-chief, as the latter has been very critical in his writings of leading government officials.
This dispute previously led to the arrest of six journalists, including the managing director, Mr. Yahya al-Saqaaf. They were later on released on orders from the President Ali Abdulah Saleh.
Editor in chief of al-Shomu’a newspaper, Saif al-Hadhiri, sent a letter to Mahbub Ali, Chairman of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, urging him to stand by al-Shomu’a against what he called the arbitrary decision of the Ministry of Information.
On his part, the Minister of Information told the press that the closure of al-Shomua’a was unanimously agreed on by the cabinet and not only by the Ministry of Information.
Al-Shomu’a got its license from the ministry in 1996 and has been subjected to many acts of harassment for severely criticizing ministers and leading officials on charges of corruption and pocketing public funds.