Mp guards turn their guns on Arabia photographer and correspondent [Archives:2005/878/Local News]

September 19 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Yemeni Journalists Syndicate had asked the parliament to make a quick investigation in the oppression that Alarabia Sana'a correspondent Hamoud Munasr, and photographer Fuad Alkhidir, met on the hands of an Mp guards. Armed guards of Mp Mohamed Almushli Al-Radhi from Hajah governorate, directed their guns to the two men, demanding that they should hand over their cameras after they photographed the armed escorts of some parliament members.

In his address to Speaker of the parliament the Syndicate's, Chief of journalists described the incident as disgracing to legislative authorities, which are supposed to be protectors to rights on top of which is the press liberty.

In a release to Yemen Times correspondent Hamod said that he was being followed by armed men, demanding that they should be given the camera. He said that he sensed danger and hurried to the parliament's gate. He found an MP and explained the situation to him. Then the armed guards came and threatened him. He was surprised that one of them drew his gun and pointed it at him. The MP interfered and protected Munasar. He said that he will report to Sheikh Abdulla Al-Ahmar, Speaker of the Parliament on this incident which endangered his life.

This incident is among a series of its kind with which several people were met from these armed guards. Hundreds of them often gather in front of the parliament carrying their arms.

At the beginning of this year PM Ba-Jamal met a similar incident when an armed guard pointed his gun at him threatening to shoot him down if the increase in prices were indorsed.

Statistics say that 30% of the MPs are tribal chiefs who are guarded by at least four armed followers.

Journalism is a dangerous career in Yemen because of massive intolerance for free speech and criticism in the prevailing Yemeni cultural atmosphere. Journalists were met with a number of assaults from several parties that have a low opinion of the journalism activities such as photography, recording and others. Lawful journalist actions are considered to be red lines that should not be crossed and journalists are often indicted for them. Sometimes they will be met with actions which are real threat to their lives.