By Nasser Arrabyee/22/08/2010
The Yemeni army and Al Houthi rebels arrested more than 50 journalists who were invited by a tribal sheikh to his house in Sa’ada, said the journalists from their detention Sunday.
The army arrested about 27 journalists in Harf Sufyan, including the reporters and cameramen of Al Jazeera, Reuters, AP, Al Hurra, Al Manar, said Omar Al Amki, the journalist who organized the trip on behalf of the tribal Sheikh Fares Mana’a.
About 25 journalists are blockaded by Al Houthi rebels in the house of Sheikh Fares Mana’a in the outskirt of Sa’ada city.
“These 25 journalists were able to enter Sa’ada because they told the checkpoints they were engineers not journalist s,” said Khaled Al Mahdi, the DPA reporter who is among the 27 arrested by the army in Harf Sufyan.
The tribal Sheikh Fares Mana’a invited the journalists to attend a conference in Sa’ada in which he said he would announce a peace initiative.
It seems that Mana’a did not coordinate with the conflicting parties before he invited the journalists to a volatile place like Sa’ada. Sheikh Mana’a is famous weapon trader who was blacklisted by the United States early this year for charges of smuggling weapons to Somalia.