International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the three month
jail sentence and one year ban from journalism handed down to Yemeni reporter Anisa
Mohammed Ali Othman on 16 January by a court which convicted her of insulting
the Head of State.
condemn this gross injustice done to our colleague and call for this ruling to
be set aside," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "Government should take heed
of exposure of ills in the country by media rather than drag them through
courts on ridiculous charges."
to media reports, Anisa, a journalist for Al-Wasat newspaper, was convicted over two articles she published in 2008 denouncing
corruption, injustice and violations of human rights in Yemen. The journalist was
also banned from practicing journalism for one year and fined 10.000 riyals (EUR50).
She denied ever naming President Ali Abdullah Saleh in her articles and
dismisses accusations levelled at her as being politically motivated.
Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) has also protested the ruling. A sit-in at
the Presidential palace has been organised today to show support for the
journalist and to call for the decision to be reversed.
IFJ backs the YJS and says Yemeni authorities are lashing out to critics and
media for holding their Government to account by exposing is failings. The
Federation last year criticised the jail sentences handed down to two Yemeni journalists, Sammer Jubran, chief
editor of weekly Al-Masdar and Muneer
Al-Maweeri, Washington based journalist, who were also
accused of insulting the President. The IFJ has also campaigned for the release
of journalist Mohammed al Maqaleh, editor of the opposition Socialist Party's
website, Al Eshteraki, who was
abducted in September 2009 and has not been seen since.
"We will push back hard as
the Government seeks to make journalists scapegoats for its dismal record in office,"
added Boumelha. "Bad news for the regime cannot be buried by bullying
For more information
contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 125 countries worldwide