Reporters Without Borders condemns the action of the authorities in blocking access to the independent new website YemenPortal (www.yemenportal.net) since 19 January. Access to at least seven other websites have been blocked since October.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government is having to deal with growing social unrest and a Zaidi uprising but that is no reason to target the media and websites, the press freedom organisation said. As it is unable to influence what
they post, the government has decided to block independent news websites in order to suppress their criticisms.
Access to YemenPortal from within Yemen was blocked two days after Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar and other government officials accused the press on 17 January of jeopardising the country’s national interest and promoting
incitement to secession.
The news websites to which the Yemeni authorities have blocked access since October include:
The webmaster of Yemen Portal continues the campaign to allow free access to information in Yemen. The next step is launching
Free Yemen Portal , which displays the content of all the websites banned in Yemen.
Proxies in Yemen are blocked by the government ISP, in addition to a wide variety of news websites.
The anti-website censorship website freeyemenportal.org was officially launched today by Mideast Youth and YemenPortal.net as part of an ongoing campaign to free yemenportal.net from a two-month long ban imposed by the Yemeni government.
Furthermore, yemenportal.info was also activated as a mirror site to circumvent the blockage of the earlier blocked domains.
The launch of the website coincides with an unprecedented wave of bans by the Yemeni regime targeting news and opinion websites including blogs and discussion forums. The blocking of Yemenportal.net and its alternative domain was protested by
many local and international advocacy organizations including Reporters sans Frontiers, Committee to Protect Journalists, Article 19, the World Association of Newspapers plus many others.
Mohamed Al-Jabali, the editor of Akhbaralasr news website is the latest casualty in a wave of intimidations targeting bloggers and online journalists in Yemen.
In a statement, Al-Jabali appealed for protection after receiving death threats in the capital Sanaa from the regime's security apparatus. This comes just after his website was also hacked. The hackers, whom Al-Jabali said are elements of the
regime, published a sarcastic entry on the front page with a picture of a monkey and an insult on the owner of the website Al-Jabali.
Al-Jabali said the regime was angered by his online reports on peaceful anti-government political activities in the Tihama region in the West of the country. The website had articles critical of the regime's handling of the economy and a recent
article highlighted a call to end the national investment mafias in the country.
In an email message, Al-Jabali said he feared for his life after being threatened near Al-Tahrir Square in the city center and accused a senior advisor of the President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh for supporting those activities against him and
On September 18th, 2009, the Yemeni Editor of the opposition Socialist Party's website,
Al Eshteraki , Mohammed al Maqaleh has been kidnapped in the capital Sana'a by security forces.
According to eyewitness reports cited by the International Federation of Journalists :
Five gun wielding masked men in a minibus intercepted al Maqaleh's car. They bundled him into another vehicle. In dozens of instances, plain clothes intelligence operatives driving vehicles with military plates have
snatched journalists off the street who have then disappeared and often tortured.
Reports say that Mohammed al Maqaleh, has been abducted after writing about the humanitarian situation and the fighting in the northern province of Sa'ada between the army and Shia rebels.
The International Federation of Journalists (IJF) is calling for the release and safekeeping of the Abducted editor. A
Facebook group has also been created in support of Mohammed al Maqaleh.