Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani is prominent dissident journalist in Yemen. He faces the death penalty for "insulting the president" and "demoralizing the military." He will be sentenced on May 21st.
He is charged with insulting the president and demoralizing the military with an article about the Sa’ada war. He is an internationally renowned journalist and one of Yemen’s most prominent and outspoken democracy advocates
Al-Khaiwani was badly beaten during his arrest in June 2007. His daughter, six year old Ebba, was slapped by police so hard that she fell unconscious. After Al-Khaiwani’s arrest and release on bail, he was kidnapped and badly beaten again. The US State Department issued a statement from DC noting his abduction pointed to, “disturbing trend of intimidation and harassment of Yemen’s journalist community.”
Al-Khaiwani was charged on July 4 with aiding the rebel movement by publishing war news. As you may know, the war in Sa’ada has been called a state sponsored genocide with strong parallels to the Sudan. I published photos of the damage in Sa’ada caused by indiscriminate (or deliberate) government bombing. I interviewed rebel spokesman Yahya al-Houthi, and posted it. (My website is now banned in Yemen.) By the standard of “demoralizing the military”, I’d also be subject to the death penalty if I was in Yemen. So would half of the bloggers here in the US.
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