PFU appeals for Al-Khaiwani [Archives:2005/814/Front Page]

February 7 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
The Public Forces Union Party renewed its appeal to local and international organizations to help Abdul-Karim Al-Khaiwani, the jailed editor-in-chief of Al-Shura Weekly.

A statement issued by the General Secretariat of the PFU on Feb. 5 urged human rights watches and political forces to work against the arrests and violations of Yemen's journalists and writers, and pressure the state to respect human dignity.

The PFU emphasized the need for an impartial judiciary and respect for the principles of justice ensured by the Constitution and laws.

The statement called on the judicial authority to quickly look into the appeal which has been delayed for five months.

“The PFU asks the Yemeni authorities to respect democracy, liberties and human rights as well as the frequent calls and protests staged locally and internationally against the imprisonment of Al-Khaiwani,” read the statement.

“It also confirms that the continued detention of Al-Khaiwani, and keeping Al-Shura shut down has substantially damaged Yemen's reputation in the international arena. The freedom of journalism has turned to be mere mirage. When approached, it vanishes.”

The origin of the case is in the issue of inheritance of governance raised by Al-Shura, following the insurgency of Al-Houthi. Al-Shura was charged of slander of the president of the republic, the national unity, and supreme interests. The editor-in-chief was then tried with haste and the newspaper was closed down, apparently for six months.

Al-Khaiwani was then thrown into jail without chance to appeal and defend himself through the complete range of legal procedures.

Some feel that it's all a misuse of law by the authorities to punish any kind of opposition.

Al-Shura at that time was classified as a newspaper supporting Al-Houthi's insurgency.

Other opposition newspapers also supported the insurgency, except for Islah newspapers which sympathized with the state, and lashed out at Al-Houthi.