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A freed Yemeni editor offers thanks

Yemeni editor Abdel Karim al-Khaiwani walked out of a Sana'a prison today after being granted a presidential pardon. The outspoken journalist was serving a six-year prison term on what were widely seen as retaliatory antistate charges. Al-Khaiwani, whose case was the focus of a CPJ advocacy campaign, offered his gratitude.

I thank the Committee to Protect Journalists. It had a vital role in standing with me during all stages of the case, and I feel that CPJ had a huge role in the achievement that we gained today.
We need solidarity campaigns to boost freedom. We are sacrificing for the sake of creating a real freedom.

We feel that the world is on our side--the international [press freedom] organizations and the Committee to Protect Journalists. They are all supporting us, showing solidarity with us. We are not alone. I was not alone to face the ordeal because I felt that all the organizations were with me. The Committee to Protect Journalists was with me from the beginning, so I felt strong. 

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Yemen: The authorities threaten the life of a blogger, block his blog, and cordon off his

Cairo 19th November 2008

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information strongly condemned today the harassment and threats against engineer Nashwan Abdu Ali Ghanim who runs a blog on Katib website which is now blocked in Yemen by the state security. The death threats and harassment are based on his articles about the consequences of the terrorist operation which targeted the US embassy in Yemen, and accused some political and military leaders of being involved in the attacks.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information denounces this cruel campaign, which breaks all international laws and conventions, and even the Yemeni constitution. ANHRI consider this campaign a breach of democratic principles which the regime in Yemen claims to protect and adopt, and calls upon the Yemeni authorities to end the security persecution against Ali Ghanim and guarantee his integrity.

It also demands the immediate withdrawal of troops surrounding the house, the investigation of his case and the immediate unblocking of his blog.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights reminds the Yemeni authorities of its obligations to the international conventions following its participation at the donor conference in 2006 as one of states adopting democracy. ANHRI also reminds the authorities in Yemen to respect article 19 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights as well as the International Convention for Civil and Political Rights for freedom of expression.

In the same context, ANHRI calls upon human rights organizations in local, regional, and international levels, and donor institutions in particular to support blogger Ghanim and exercise pressures over the Yemeni authorities to guarantee his physical integrity and end persecutions against expression and opinion activists.

blogger yemeni nashwan ghanem February 21, 2009 8:51:01 AM ET

Arab democracy: Fattening generals, killing activists and bloggers!!

Reading the current Arab scene from the viewpoint of the press, tightening the loop even more on
the margin of liberties consists of a serious phase which doesn’t go in tandem with the race of the world towards the information revolution. This serious phase which is led by the Arab ruler who wants to keep his people in the era of autarchy, ignorance, and accepting sour reality!! It is spinning a web in this regard. During recent years, the scope of continuous violations has widened. It affected many journalists, correspondents, activists and bloggers. With the extension in the scope of the so-called fourth estate, in this case e-press… It has provided a boundless space for writing with total audacity and freedom, for those who missed journalistic work without chains, far from the grip and stick of the authoritarian administration! As restrictions and censorship are also imposed on sites by authorities, there is no effective way in the presence of the so-called banned or censored sites. But there is no way to save the activist or blogger who falls in the grip of the authority. The latter wants to punish him because he writes posts about the gloominess of the fake reality. So from where can we begin this gloomy part which fills our minds every day and every moment? Shall we start from Yemen whose democracy killed the reporter Abdelhabib Salem, the journalist Abdelaziz Sekaf, the editor in chief of Yemen times paper, the journalist Hamid Chahra, the editor in chief of People paper who died in separate and doubtful accidents; in addition to its attempt to kill the journalist (Khalid Salmane), editor in chief of the Revolution paper who was charged for cases which aren’t associated with journalism. Then he asked for political asylum to Britain during the conference of donator countries sponsoring democracy in London with the delegation accompanying the president of the republic. Can two opposites meet? A country attends the conference of donator countries as a sponsor of democracy and in the delegation of journalists of that state, a journalist applies at the same time for political asylum to Britain? It has also tried the reporter Abdelkrim Khiouani for belong to Sanaa terrorist cell after he was kidnapped and beaten on three occasions for his writings about the regime and Saada war!! Many papers were also closed down.

*blogger Yemeni/Nashwan Abdu Ali Ghanem

blogger yemeni nashwan ghanem February 21, 2009 8:53:50 AM ET