New York, May 8, 2009--Amid an increasing crackdown on the media in Yemen, the Committee to Protect Journalists called today for the Yemeni authorities to disclose the whereabouts of a journalist who has been held incommunicado since May 4 after he was arrested in southern Yemen. CPJ also called on the authorities to drop a series of lawsuits against an independent critical newspaper.
Security forces arrested Fuad
Rashid, editor-in-chief of Mukalla
"We ask the authorities to reveal where and why they are
holding Fuad Rashid without delay," said
In addition to sending troops to
Today the district attorney's
office in Aden sent
a summons for Al-Ayyam's editor-in-chief,
On Wednesday, Minister of
Information Hassan Ahmed al-Luzi defended the
In another case, Hisham Bashraheel and his other son, Hani Bashraheel, have been ordered to appear before the district attorney in Sana'a on May 9 in relation to an attack on his home in February 2008. A group of armed men attacked the newspaper's compound, which includes Bashraheel's home, leading to a gunfight with the paper's guards in which one of the assailants died.
"The timing of these lawsuits against Hisham Bashraheel and his family members strongly suggest that they might be politically motivated as retribution for Al-Ayyam's critical coverage," said Abdel Dayem.
Muhammad Al-Baqwali, the family's lawyer, told CPJ that the district attorney's order was made on behalf of relatives of the killed gunman; they are accusing Bashraheel and his son of inciting the guard to kill the attacker. Al-Baqwali said the district attorney violated the law because he did not obtain new evidence before issuing the summons.