Saturday, 31 October 2009

Two journalists jailed and banned from writing for insulting President Saleh

By Nasser Arrabyee/31/10/2009

Two Yemeni journalists were sentenced to 1-2 years in prison and were banned from writing for insulting the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Chaired by Judge Mansour Shayeh, the special press court sentenced the Yemeni-American journalist Munair Al Mawri, based now in US, to two years in prison and banned him from writing for ever after being convicted of insulting the President.

Al Mawri wrote an article earlier this year in the independent weekly Al Masdar under the title "The mass destruction weapons" which was considered as insults and offences to President Saleh.

The court also ordered a suspended year in prison for the journalist Sameer Jubran, the editor-in-chief of independent Al Masdar weekly and banned him from writing and running his paper for the same period one year.

Jubran, who appeared in the court Saturday, asked for an appeal and said he would appoint another colleague run Al Masdar during the period of his punishment.

After pronouncing the verdict, Jubran said he expected such a verdict, describing it as stiff and political.

The secretary general of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, Marwan Dammaj, said the verdict was a shock to all journalists.

Dammaj called the rights group to condemn such verdicts.

The deputy minister of legal affairs, Mamoon Al Shami, said the verdict was fair, and President Saleh set a good example for other officials by resorting to judiciary.

The ministry of legal affairs filed the suite case against the paper for the President Saleh.

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