YJS Urges Saleh to abolish journalist imprisonment penalty [Archives:2004/740/Front Page]

May 24 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) condemned the organized campaign of trials and attacks against media men, appealing to President Ali Abdullah Saleh to abolish the imprisonment penalty in publication issues. In a press statement released on Thursday, the YJS said that the number of harassment reports against the journalists has increased dramatically, which is a direct threat to the freedom of the press and expression. The YJS urged President Saleh to bring an end to the imprisonment penalty against journalists. It also demanded that the sentence of imprisonment against three journalists should be commuted. However, it affirmed that a free media should be responsible and should not violate the rights of others, hinting at the article published in al-Ehya al-Arabi by Abduljabar Sa'ad, who attacked the Saudi regime. For this, the writer and the paper were sued by the Ministry of Information, while Sa'ad was fired from his job as the manager of the customs authority in Hodiedah Governorate.
The Southern Court of Sana'a sentenced last week former Editor of al-Asboo Weekly Jalal al-Shara'abi to three months imprisonment whilst Naif Hassan and Fuad al-Rabadi received 5 months imprisonment suspended sentences. All were banned from writing. They were charged with publishing a report on the sexual behavior of school girls last year.
The YJS criticized the mutual media barrage between the ruling party and opposition newspapers, describing it as a violation of media ethics.