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Human rights defenders in Yemen have been subjected to harassment, death threats, arbitrary detention, fabricated prosecutions and torture including corporal punishment.The Yemeni constitution states that freedom of speech and of the press is guaranteed within the confines of the law. However, human rights defenders and pro-democracy advocates have been the victims of this provision's ambiguity. Journalists, HRDs and academics are treated with suspicion and the Security Police have abducted HRDs at gun point and kept them in incommunicado.
The Yemeni government has been sought to position itself as supporting the US government in its “war on terror.” Many HRDs have been arrested under the false accusation of supporting militant groups. Much of the progress achieved by HRDs in the years preceding 9/ll was undermined after tough legislation was introduced by the Yemini authorities in 2001. For example, the parliament approved the law for Associations and Foundations, which regulates the formation of NGOs. The constitution allows for freedom of assembly, yet it will routinely detain activists in order to prevent them from organizing demonstrations. The authorities hope to curtail the activities of human rights defenders by using both bureaucratic means as well as physical/psychological intimidation.
Communication between HRDs is problematic as the authorities monitor the internet and block websites. Journalists advocating reform run the risk of having their newspaper offices shut and their property confiscated. In June 2008, the former editor-and-chief of the pro-democracy paper al-Shoura, Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani, was sentenced to six years imprisonment, after he was accused of insulting the president and “demoralizing the military”. His newspaper's office had to close and its website was blocked. The following month, journalists and human rights activists tried to stage a sit-in in the capital Sana'a, but it was shortly broken up, as the authorities subjected its participants to beatings and conducted arbitrary arrests.
02 November 2011
26 May 2011
26 May 2011
20 August 2010
30 March 2010
Yemen: Human Rights Defender Mr Ali Al Dailami stopped at Sanaa airport and his passport confiscated
Yemen: Human rights defender and blogger Ms Huda Jaafar subjected to on-line threats and abusive messages
Yemen: Physical assault of human rights defenders Ms Tawakkol Karman, Ms Bushra Al-Sorabi and Mr Ali Al-Dailami
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