Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 08:59 GMT

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: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

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.

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