Al-Khaiwani, editor of the opposition weekly Al-Shoura (The Consultation), began serving a one-year prison sentence. He was convicted of incitement, insulting the president, publishing false news, and causing tribal and sectarian discrimination. Al-Khaiwani’s lawyer, Jamal al-Jaabi, told CPJ that al-Khaiwani was charged under both Yemen’s Press Law and Penal Code. The court also suspended Al-Shoura for six months.
Al-Jaabi said the charges against al-Khaiwani stemmed from nine opinion pieces published in the July 7 issue of the weekly, which was dedicated to discussing the Yemeni government’s fight against rebel cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Hawthi, who led a three-month uprising against authorities in the northern Yemeni region of Saada. Hundreds were reportedly killed during the uprising, and government forces killed al-Hawthi on September 10.
The articles, which other newspaper staff had written, were extremely critical of the government’s conduct and questioned its motives in engaging in an armed conflict against al-Hawthi and his supporters. One of the pieces claimed that the government was creating terrorism with their actions, while another alleged that innocent people were being killed in the fighting.