A distressing trend in Yemen

In a recent US State Department press release, Sean McCormack says of the recent conviction and sentencing of Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani:

The conviction and sentencing of Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani to six years in prison points to a distressing trend in Yemen of intimidation and prosecution of independent journalists in criminal and security courts. Al-Khaiwani’s sentence has been condemned by both Yemeni and international journalism and human rights NGOs.

Al-Khaiwani himself has been the victim of violence, intimidation, and kidnappings that the Government of Yemen has yet to fully investigate and prosecute those responsible.

We call upon the Government of Yemen to protect Yemeni journalists and their right to free expression in the pursuit of their profession. A free and independent media is a key component of a democratic society.

Jane Novak, who has been campaigning to spare al-Khaiwani from the death penalty and to free him says of McCormack’s statement: “Good! It is distressing. And it is a trend.”

I guess, in State Department lingo, that’s a sign that someone is peeved..


About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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2 Responses to A distressing trend in Yemen

  1. Jane says:

    I was surprised but gratified State came out with this statement within a few hours of the sentence. Its making waves in the Yemeni administration and through out the ME.

    They should be peeved. Its blatant targeting of a journalist for his work product. I know this guy since 2005. What he has suffered already is amazing but six years is a very long time for an innocent person to be in jail.

  2. mary says:

    If Yemen is supposed to be one of our “important partners” in the war against terrorism, they would care about the opinion of the state department.

    Hopefully (with the proper inspiration), State will continue to apply pressure.

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