Opposition journalist fears for his life and his family [Archives:2007/1081/Front Page]

August 30 2007

By:Mohammed bin Sallam
SANA'A, August, 29 — The journalist and political researcher, Abdul-Kareem Al-Khaiwani, who is a member of the popular forces political party, was abducted and attacked by unknown security personnel last Monday.

Al-Khaiwani stated, “I personally hold the president Ali Abdullah Saleh responsible for my life as well as the life of my family.”

“The president should treat me as a Yemeni citizen, admitting my rights and preventing the security bodies from harming me. As president of the republic, he should not publicly declare me as his enemy. He should not writhe with fury and indignation against me, encouraging security bodies to annoy me. I fear they may murder me and my family members if I again write against the regime or against the president,” Al-Khaiwani added.

A group of civil right organizations and opposition parties denounced the abduction of Al-Khaiwani due to his writings against corruption and ruling system.

They drove him by a car whose number plate was painted black. They took him to unknown place where they bashed him severely. They also left him in undeveloped area.

The armed personnel confiscated the passport, ID card and the mobile phone of Al-Khaiwani. They also intimidated him with murder along with his family if he writes anything against the president or the national unity, according to the committee sources, specifying an article published by Al-Nedda weekly newspaper in August, 26th. The article was entitled “pro-state, a country behind walls”. Al-Khaiwani discussed the prisoners' situations and how they are treated.”

The JMP allaince of opposition parties commented on this: “These criminal acts are a reflection of the bully activists and gangs of the authority since 2004 with the associate Al-Khaiwani who was exposed to so many abductions. His family is now scared. These frightening measures will not stop penholders from writing such as Al-Khaiwani as well as those who call for freedom, justice, equality and human rights.”

The Yemeni journalists syndicate expresses its sadness over a statement released by security source published by the ruling party media which denied the incident, describing it as a drama.

The syndicate also said, “The quick denial of the security bodies for the incident taking place in the center of in front of journalists and citizens, indicates that the security bodies are apathetic toward the crime.” The source also appealed to the president to penalize the perpetrators and hold the concerned officials responsible for neglecting their duties.

The international journalists' protection committee demanded the investigation of the incident. “There are some doubts over the connection of the armed gang with the Yemeni security forces,” according to local journalists who talked to the committee.

Likewise, hundreds of journalists spanning the country considered this incident a reflection of the suppressing mentality of a system behaving like guerrillas and bandits. They also considered the abduction of Al-Khaiwani is a message for those who practice the same job against a regime controlled by corruption and tyranny, demanding the syndicate as well as the political powers and human rights organizations to press authorities to reveal the perpetrators and present them before prosecution.

Al-Khaiwani was detained in June, 20 by the state security bodies, attacking his house. He was released by guaranty by the end of July. He was exposed to battery by a security personnel dragging him into the prison barefooted and with underwear clothes. Al-Khaiwani suffered a lot due to his criticism of bequeathing the rule as well as job nepotism in addition to criticizing war between the government and the Houthis in Sa'ada.

It was mentioned that when Al-Khaiwani was the editor in chief of Al-Shoura weekly newspaper and Al-Shoura' net, he was accused of insulting the president as well as publishing false news in addition to inciting discrimination between areas and tribal feuds. This is attributed to publishing articles criticizing the way the government treats most of the issues.

The State-run media affiliated to the ruling party published last Tuesday a statement belonging to a security source in the capital secretariat. They denied the incident of abducting and attacking Al-Khaiwani, considering that Al-Khaiwani fabricated a drama of abduction aiming at harming the security bodies. The source said that Al-Khaiwain was invited to attend a wedding party in Khawlan area before he pretended that.”