Yemeni Journalists express solidarity with Al-Jazeera [Archives:2005/899/Front Page]

December 1 2005

SANA'A, Nov 29 – Hundreds of Yemenis joined a protest earlier this week in front of Al-Jazeera Headquarters in the capital Sana'a. The protesters showed their solidarity with Al-Jazeera news station against The United States unjust policy towards it. Many protesters lifted slogans and signs blaming the U.S for attacking human rights and the freedom of the press. Numerous businessmen, journalists, and intellectuals were gathered at the arena of the protest. “We are here to tell The United States that it has lost its respect in the eyes of all Arab people”, said Kamal Al-Asbahi, a protester. “It is only looking to insure the success of its policies, not looking at the problems that could erupt from its unjust policy”, he added.

Head of Al-Jazeera Office in Sana'a, Murad Hashim, commented to the Yemen Times concerning the protest as he said “these protests shows how the people feel about taking their rights. We here are not offending any country in specific, but want to know the truth of the story. The hundreds of people who attended in solidarity with our news station are also standing here demanding there own rights, he said”

After the protest was held, hundreds of late comers to the protest flocked Al-Jazeera house showing their respect and firm stance with them. “We are here to stand with the rights of all journalists and writers, not only Al-Jazeera”, said a protester.” Al-Jazeera is the only station we still trust” he added.

In the meantime, an alliance of 20 Yemeni associations, organizations and syndicates, called the British government to disclose ties plan. They also asked the British and American Human rights organizations to pressure the Bush and Blair administrations to reveal this document, and to stop this unethical war.

The Alliance also expressed consolidation with press freedom in Yemen. They expressed concern over the recent convictions against journalists and writers as part of the continuous assault against journalists.

Earlier this week, the Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper alleged that US President George Bush planned to bomb the TV station in Qatar. Bush disclosed his plan to target al-Jazeera, a news station with mass popularity in the Mid-East, during a White House face-to-face meeting with Tony Blair on April 16, 2004.

Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency. Al-Jazeera infuriated Washington and London by reporting from behind rebel lines and broadcasting pictures of dead soldiers, private contractors and Iraqi victims. In April 2003, an Al-Jazeera journalist died when its Baghdad office was attacked during a US bombing campaign. In November 2001, Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a US missile, although no staff was in the office at the time.