By National Yemen
Ahmed Al-Shalafi, correspondent of Al-Jazeera channel said that National Security has held for his passport over a year. Al-Shalafi has been suffering from military censorship that restricted his freedom in living peacefully and travelling freely.
Al-Salafi told the National Yemen that his passport was held when he was renewing it at the facility that issues passports and nationalities. “Rashad Al-Masri, former Minister of Interior and administrator of National Security, ordered the facility to hold my passport and stop all procedures,” Al-Shalafi stated.
Al-Shalafi said that Prime Minister Basondowa and Minister of Interior Abdulkader Qahtan sent their orders to continue procedures and release his passport but none were implemented. According to Al-Shalafi, security forces of the former regime forced the Press Prosecution office to order passport office to stop the procedures to renew his passport and hold it with no legal reason.
“They went through these means to legalize the detention of the passport though it is considered to be a crime in the Yemeni constitution to hold someone’s passport,” Al-Shalafi added.
Many ministers in the government tried to release Al-Shalafi’s passport including Houria Mashhoor. Mashoor sent a letter to the passport office and asked them to release his passport but said it is being held under the orders of the Press Prosecution. She then sent a message to the Press Prosecution office to cancel their orders but did not have any success.
“Another minister tried to do his part and contacted both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior. Then someone finally came to tell me that National Security is holding my passport. Though Ministry of Information dropped its lawsuit against me, I cannot get my passport and I am still banned from travelling,” Al-Shalafi noted.
Al-Shalafi wondered why he is still judicially prosecuted though he committed nothing but seeking the truth through journalism. “Members of Saleh’s regime got the immunity despite all of the crimes they committed, but I am still prosecuted though I committed no crime and was just doing my work,” Al-Shalafi said.
Like many Yemenis, Al-Shalafi wishes to accelerate the process of restructuring the army because he believes this will solve many problems. He also believes it will help many people who have suffered the oppression of security forces related to the former regime and will help them gain their rights again.
It is worth mentioning that as the revolution began in Yemen, the former regime cracked down on all free and independent media. Al-Jazeera arguably suffered the most during this phase as its offices were broken into and deported all of its correspondents.