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Cartoon Update: 3 Suspended Yemeni Papers Allowed to Re-open

by Norwegian Chef Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 11:49:12 PM EST

In one of the first positive moves by the Yemeni Government in regards to the Danish cartoon controversy, 3 Yemeni newspapers that were suspended over the cartoon publication have had their suspensions revoked yesterday by the Prime Minister, Abdul-Qader Bajammal.

The Yemen Observer, Al-Rai Al-A'am and Al-Hurriyah's are all allowed to resume printing hard copies.  This comes on the eve of the resumption of the trial of Mohammed Al-Asadi, the editor of the Yemen Observer.  Hopefully the outcome of his trial tomorrow will be as positive.

Here is the update article from the Yemen Observer.

Suspended Newspapers Back in Business
By Observer staff
May 2, 2006 -
SANA'A - The Yemen Observer can continue printing hard copies of its newspaper, after a decision to suspend its license to operate was overturned on Tuesday by Prime Minister Abdul-Qader Bajammal.
One day prior to world celebration of the UN World Press Freedom Day, the decision of the Yemeni government has been made. Two other newspapers who also had their licenses suspended for charges connected to republishing the Danish cartoons, the Al-Rai Al-A'am and Al-Hurriyah,, were also given the go-ahead to continue to print.
The move follows a series of demands by the Yemen Journalists Syndicate (YJS). Bajammal has instructed the Ministry of Information to activate the revoked licenses of the three newspapers after a meeting with members of the YJS.
The Ministry of Information revoked the license of the Observer and Al-Rai Al-A'am on February 8, and Al-Hurriyah's on February 4.
For the past three months, Observer journalists have been able to only print articles on its website.
"It was a fruitful meeting with the Prime Minister," Saeed Thabet, Acting Chairman of the YJS told the Observer.
"We have been demanding the release of the licenses of the newspapers for past three months. The response of the government came late but was encouraging."
Staff at the Yemen Observer welcomed the news. Faris Sanabani, the publisher, welcomed the prime minister decision saying: "It is time for the Yemeni government to move to responsibility of press freedom to the journalists themselves, who should play a vital role in transparency, fighting corruption and development."
"It was a good decision by the government, even if it was perhaps a late one," said Mohammed Al-Asadi, Editor-in-Chief of the Yemen Observer. "We hope that the charges will also be dropped."
The trials of those accused in connection with the reprinting of the cartoons continues.
Hafez Al-Bukari, Secretary General of the YJS expressed his satisfaction of the meeting with the Prime Minister. The discussion also includes various issues concerning press freedoms, the draft law and access to information in addition the administrative arrangement of the general assembly meeting of the YJS to elect a new chairman.
"I am impressed with the meeting," Al-Bukari said. "We really wish that all promises made by the Prime Minister will be fulfilled including the establishment of an Information Center in the cabinet to supply journalists with necessary information and statistics."

Copyright (c) 2004 - 2005
Yemen Observer Newspaper

Interesting that this controversy still moves along...and thanks again for keeping us up on the latest!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed May 3rd, 2006 at 10:07:48 AM EST
Good news.
by Nomad on Thu May 4th, 2006 at 05:22:47 AM EST

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