Organized campaign against corrupt judiciary in Yemen [Archives:2005/822/Front Page]

March 7 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
Sana'a, 6 March- This week has witnessed heated escalations by members of professional unions, political parties and mass organizations in response to aggressive acts against journalists last Tuesday. In an attempt to defend their rights, lawyers and journalists continue to disscuss the latest developments in this issue. On their part, parties of the opposition JMP have issued a statement denouncing the aggression against lawyers and journalists last Tuesday during a court session concerning the trial of Mr. Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani, Editor-in-Chief of al-Shura Weekly, at the Appeals Court, in the Capital Secretariat.

The statement mentioned that the JMP, expressed regret and denunciation of what had happened at the Court which is supposed to be a sanctuary of freedom and harbor for the oppressed. The law should have prevailed in such arenas of human dignity and freedoms.

The JMP considers what happened Tuesday as coming within the context of depriving al-Khaiwani of his right of defense or is meant for prolonging his imprisonment. In conclusion, the opposition parties' statement has called on the Supreme Judicial Council to hold Judge al-Hijri accountable andmust dismiss and try him according to the law.

The JMP asked for prohibition of judgesfor rallying around them tribal militias as bodyguards or hiring security elements from outside the Judicial Police.

On the other hand, the Yemeni Teachers Syndicate vowed solidarity with the Yemen Journalists and Lawyers syndicates who have announced joint activities. Continued on page 3

A statement issued by the YJS opposed the decision of preventing journalists from practicing their profession in reporting facts and events as well as the activities and developments in the society. It pointed out that journalists are so harassed that they are assaulted while conducting their work in the field including courtrooms, coverage of the strikes of doctors, pharmacists, and university teachers.

On the other hand, a statement circulated by the Press Freedoms Center on March 2 condemned what it described as “crime of attacking Yemeni journalists and lawyers.” The statement put the responsibility on the President of the Republic as Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, asking for a neutral committee to be set up to investigate into ” the crime of the brutal attack against journalists, lawyers, legalists and activists in the building of the judiciary which should present a secure place that defends people's rights and dignity.”