Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Repression in Yemen

20.05.2008 (11:49 am) – Filed under: Free Speech,Middle East ::

From the NY Times and Jane Novak’s Armies of Liberation blog comes the story of Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, a journalist who is facing a potential death sentence tomorrow as a consequence of writing about the rebellion in northern Yemen that’s cost thousands of people their lives.

Read the NYT article and Jane’s post, then consider signing the petition to free al-Khaiwani, before more of this happens:

Since he was released in 2005, Al-Khaiwani has been beaten, kidnapped, censored and imprisoned. His paper was cloned, his website blocked and his children threatened.

Al-Khaiwani was badly beaten during his arrest in June 2007. His daughter, six year old Ebba, was slapped by police so hard that she fell unconscious. After Al-Khaiwani’s arrest and release on bail, he was kidnapped and badly beaten again. The US State Department issued a statement from DC noting his abduction pointed to, “disturbing trend of intimidation and harassment of Yemen’s journalist community.”

Seems the Yemeni government is unhappy with him for writing about its bloody battles with a rebel group of which he is now accused of being a part.

The facts may not be perfectly clear; however, it seems best to err on the side of al-Khaiwani and freedom of the press rather than blindly accept the Yemen states’ version of events and the harsh, possibly final, punishment that will follow such a judgment.

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