Authorities urged to think twice after freelance journalist given six-year sentence

first_img RSF_en News YemenMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Yemen News Yemeni journalist killed, nine wounded in Aden airport explosions Reporters Without Borders condemns the six-year prison sentence which a state security court in Sanaa passed yesterday on freelance journalist Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani on a charge of “collaborating with the rebellion.” He was taken away to prison immediately after the court pronounced sentence.“Khaiwani has yet again paid for his commitment to covering the fighting in the north of the country,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The press has become a convenient scapegoat, as is often the case when the political climate in a country deteriorates. This sentence is unacceptable and will serve as a warning to all those who criticise the government in the media. We appeal to the authorities to act with lucidity and release Khaiwani at once.”A former editor of the newspaper Al-Shoura and contributor to several independent news media, Khaiwani was convicted of passing information to Shiite rebels in northern Yemen. Fourteen other persons were on trial with him. He was arrested in June 2007 and held for several months in pre-trial custody until he was released provisionally on health grounds. His continuing health problems did not deter the authorities from detaining him as soon as his sentence has been announced yesterday. He was previously sentenced to a year in prison on similar charges in March 2005 but was given a presidential pardon the day after his conviction.He is short-listed for the 2008 Amnesty International “Special Award For Human Rights Journalism Under Threat” and had been due to travel to London for the award ceremony on 17 June. Fixer for foreign reporters held in Aden for past five months Organisation Receive email alerts February 26, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News to go further United Nations: press freedom situation “deeply worrying” in Yemen, according to RSF News Help by sharing this information February 11, 2021 Find out more June 10, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities urged to think twice after freelance journalist given six-year sentence YemenMiddle East – North Africa January 6, 2021 Find out morelast_img