Cairo, May 6th 2009
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly condemned the rising police action taken by the Yemeni authorities against several independent newspapers and journalists. The last action was confiscating seven newspapers in two days, and the arrest of the journalist Fuad Rashid, the owner and publisher of www.mukallapress.com. The confiscation orders came after coverage on the protests in the southern parts of Yemen and criticism of the way the Yemeni government responded to the problems in the South were published.
The Yemeni security forces have confiscated more than 15 thousands copies of “Amasdar” newspaper and 50 thousand copies of ‘AlAyam” newspaper. More over, the printing houses stopped printing 6 newspapers after an order was issued by the information ministry specifically, the general manager of press affairs. They also withdrew all the newspapers copies from the distribution outlets. The newspapers prevented from printing are: Almasdar, Alayam, Addyar, Alnedaa, Alsharee and Almostaqella. All the printed copies of those newspapers have been withdrawn off the markets. Despite the fact that the unjust illegal governmental decision did not include “Alayam” newspaper, the police confiscated it and surroundedits headquarter in the city of Aden, and randomly opened fire to terrorize journalists.
In the evening of May 4th 2009, the security officers arrested Fuad Rashid, the owner and publisher of “al-Mukalla press” website, who lives in the city of Mukalla in Hadramoot province and took him to an unknown location. The police campaign against the Yemeni press and journalists came a few days after the Yemeni President “Ali Abdullah Saleh declared he was upset at those whom he described as “the separatists of the south”.
“Shame on the Yemeni government to take advantage of world preoccupation with the current swine flu crisis to suppress the press freedoms and confiscate newspapers” ANHRI said. “The only solution to the problems of the South is through the dialogue and avoiding the origin of the problems and not through muzzling the press and terrorizing journalists” ANHRI added.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information strongly condemns the confiscation and prosecution approach adopted by the Yemeni government against the press and journalists in Yemen. At the same time the network demands the Yemeni government to immediately stop such policies as they are deeply detrimental to Yemen and the Yemeni government as it puts the country in the first ranks of the most hostile countries to freedoms of expression and the press.
The confiscated newspapers in Yemen are:
* Almasdar: www.al-masdar.com/index.php
* Alnedaa: www.alnedaa.net
* Almostakela: www.mostakela.net
* Alsharea: www.alsharea.net
* Al-Ayyam: www.al-ayyam.info
* Makla Press website: www.mukallapress.com/index.php