By: NY Staff
Yemeni Press Syndicate representative Saeed Thabit Saeed has severely condemned a decision by the Interior and Justice Ministries to ban Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Al-Shalafi’s family from traveling. Al-Shalafi’s family members in Yemen have also had their passports confiscated.
After repeated appeals to have their passports returned failed, Thabit said, “These aggressive attitudes show that we still live in the time that preceded the youth revolution.”
Thabit called on press organizations and the International Union for Journalists to provide assistance and put pressure on the Yemeni government to allow the family its rights. He also stated that he would hold President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi fully accountable for any harm done to the journalist himself, Ahmed Al-Shalafi.
“Depriving journalists of their passports is considered a crime and has happened only twice since the 26th of September and 14th of October Revolutions, with journalists Ahmed Al-Nu’man and Dr. Abdurrahman Al-Baidhani,” added Thabit.
After Al-Shalafi’s appeal to the Interior Ministry for the release of his passport was rejected, the journalist wondered aloud at the lack of a response to his issue by NGOs and political parties.
More recently, the Hood Organization for Defending Human Rights demanded in a press release that President Hadi suspend the prosecution of all journalists whose cases are connected with coverage of the revolution. The organization also called on the Higher Judiciary Council to call off all exceptional prosecutions, and especially those related to the field of journalism. HOOD added that all journalists should protest such prosecutions on the basis that they are illegal.
HOOD stated that holdover policies from the former regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh continue to violate the same human rights and freedoms which the revolution attempted to restore as basic principles for the country.
“Nobody has the right to violate human rights and freedoms, whatever the excuse is,” stated the release.
The organization added that it would continue to protest the prosecutions of the journalists, describing them as illegal and without legal justification.
Two journalists who covered the revolution, Mohammed Al-Yousify and Mohammed Al-Salehi, were also fined following their prosecutions. The Yemeni court which focuses specifically on journalists has continued proceedings on the cases of Ahmed Al-Shalafi, Hamdi Al-Bukari, Bushra Al-Ameri, Mohammed Al-Yousify, Mohammed Al-Alwani, and Mohammed Al-Salehi – all of whom covered the Yemeni revolution.