New York, June 24, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to end censorship of independent newspapers and to identify and prosecute those who assaulted Al-Jazeera journalists on two occasions in the south of the country.
Sami Ghaleb, editor of Al-Nida, told CPJ that government officials had promised to instruct the state-owned Al-Thawra printing house to print his weekly, but that has not happened thus far. Even those newspapers that have resumed publication, he said, have faced sporadic confiscation.
On Monday, Al-Jazeera's
Then, today, unidentified individuals threw rocks at an
Al-Jazeera crew on its way to
"We condemn the continued harassment of independent journalism
and the criminal assaults on Fadel Mubarak and other Al-Jazeera personnel. All
independent papers should be allowed to resume publication, and the individuals
who attacked Mubarak must be brought to justice," said
The Freedoms Committee of the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate said it has documented dozens of attacks against the press since May. The syndicate and numerous other sources said official and pro-government media have run repeated commentary blaming recent unrest on independent news outlets that offer critical coverage of sensitive issues and interviews with opposition figures.
In previous years, CPJ documented numerous assaults on independent journalists, including Jamal Amer, editor of Al-Wasat and CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee in 2006. No one has been brought to justice in that case, despite government promises to do so.
The most recent round of hostility to independent journalism
reached its peak on May 13 when security forces fired
on the offices of Al-Ayyam in
CPJ has documented a number of other arrests. Fuad Rashid, editor-in-chief of the news Web site Mukalla Press, who was arrested on May 4, remains in custody, said Samia al-Aghbry of the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate.
Editor's note: The original version of this alert was modified to correct the date in paragraph five.