Predators of Press Freedom: Yemen - Ali Abdallah Saleh
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||3 May 2011|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Predators of Press Freedom: Yemen - Ali Abdallah Saleh, 3 May 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4dc2b5218.html [accessed 18 December 2014]|
Ali Abdallah Saleh, President, Yemen
Ali Abdallah Saleh, in power since 1978 and struggling to stay there amid street protests, strengthened his regime's already-tight control over the media in 2009 by imposing a news blackout on military offensives in the north and the south of the country. Journalists and netizens who stray from the official line are routinely arrested, kidnapped or physically attacked. The regime has shut down most of the opposition press and set up a special court to try press offences. Vague and subjective concepts in the 1990 press law such as harming "national security," threatening "national unity" or undermining "the country's foreign relations" are used to gag journalists. Since the 2011 pro-democracy demonstrations began, threats, arrests and physical attacks on journalists have increased as the regime has sought to stifle reporting of the repression. Two local journalists were killed by government snipers as they covered the protests and the regime closed the offices of Al Jazeera in Sanaa. Foreign journalists have been deported and other prevented from getting into the country. Entry visas are hard to get.