Court fines opposition weekly

JULY 12, 2006

Ali Saqqaf, Al-Wahdawi

A court in the capital Sana’a ordered the opposition weekly Al-Wahdawi to pay 500,000 riyals (US$2,550) in compensation to the Ministry of Defense, fined the paper 50,000 riyals (US$255) and banned Editor-in-Chief Ali Saqqaf from practicing journalism for six months.

The case against Al-Wahdawi stems from an August 30, 2005, article alleging improprieties by members of the Republican Guard in taking over land in Dhamar province. The Ministry of Defense, which brought the case against Al-Wahdawi, accused the newspaper of revealing military secrets.

Saqqaf told CPJ he intends to appeal the ruling. At the time, the paper faced nine other trials stemming from its reporting on government corruption, CPJ sources said.