06 May 2013
IFJ Appeals for Release of Imprisoned Yemeni Journalist
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has sent a letter to the President of Yemen, Adb Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, appealing for the release of imprisoned journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, as a sign of his commitment to media freedom on World Press Freedom Day.
The letter, signed by IFJ president Jim Boumelha, was sent to the President on 2 May, the eve of World Press Freedom Day, and urges him to release the journalist who has now been in prison in the country for three years. Mr Shaye was pardoned by former President, Ali Adballah Saleh, but is being kept behind bars at the behest of the US administration for alleged links with al Qaida.
In a meeting with Jim Boumelha last year President Hadi made a promise to do everything in his power to free Mr Shaye.
The letter begins: “Today, I want to remind you that more than a year has passed since we met in Sana, where we urged you to follow up on the pardon granted to Shaye and secure his release. You promised then that you will do your utmost to free him so he can go back to his family, loved ones and colleagues.
“This will be the third World Press Freedom Day Shaye will spend behind bars. He joins a small minority of Arab journalists who have spent many years in the past era in the prisons of tyrannies and dictatorships.”
The letter has been sent as part of the IFJ’s campaign for World Press Freedom Day, ‘Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned around the World,’’ which is demanding the release of jailed journalists across the globe.
“You are well aware that despite the dangers and instability that has engulfed Yemen during the last two years, Yemeni journalists have shown courage and professionalism during this time that few can match them in the region,” continues the letter.
The letter concludes by stating: “To honour Yemen journalism and the community of journalists around the world, we urge you again today, to declare your commitment to press freedom and the right of Yemeni journalists to work freely without fearing for their lives and safety, and to send our colleague, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, back.”
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries