By Nasser Arrabyee/19/092010
A Yemeni journalist was officially accused Sunday of providing media support for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) lawyers said on Sunday.
“The journalist Abdul Elah Haidar Shaea was accused of planning sabotage and criminal acts that threaten the security and stability of the nation, and providing media support for Al Qaeda,” said Abdul Rahman Barman, one of his lawyers after they attended the first investigation session in the prosecution office of the State Security Court in Sana’a.
Barman said the charges lack hard evidence. “IT seems the charges were based on the interviews made by Shaea with the Al Qaeda leaders,” the lawyer said.
Shaea and his friend, the cartoonist Kamal Sharaf, and a third friend called Abdul Kareem Al Shami, were arrested by the Yemeni intelligence on August 16th, 2010, from their houses in Sana’a.
Relatives and lawyers were not allowed to visit them since then.
The lawyers and the representative of the journalists syndicate said they only listened to the minutes of investigation with Shaea on Sunday, and that Monday , September 20th , will be for listening to the minutes of investigations with the other two.
Marwan Dammaj , the secretary general of the Yemeni journalists syndicate who was allowed to attend the session and saw Shaea said that Shaea should visit a doctor.
“Shaea lost one of his teeth and he showed me bruises in his chest as a result of assaults when he was arrested,” Marwan told dozens of journalists who assembled at the gate of the prosecution office in a sign of solidarity with their arrested colleagues.
Shaea is a journalist specialized in Al Qaeda affairs. He made exclusive interviews with the top leader of AQAP, Nasser Al Wahaishy early 2009, and late in the same year with Anwar Al Awlaki, the Yemeni American cleric who is in the ‘kill or capture list’ of the CIA.
Meanwhile, the Yemen security authorities said that two Al Qaeda suspects were killed Sunday after they tried to attack a check point in Amsha area outside the town of Lawdar in the southern province of Abyan.
The two men were identified as Khaled Nasser Mousa Al Wahaishy and Sabar Nasser Mousa Al Wahaishy. Both of them are from the same tribe of the top leader of AQAP Nasser Al Wahaishy according to the official statement.
Last month Lawdar witnessed fierce confrontations between Al Qaeda fighters and Yemeni security forces in which more than 33 people from both sides and from civilians were killed.
The confrontations shifted after that to the neighboring province of Shabwah where Anwar Al Awlaki and dozens of Al Qaeda fighters are believed to be hiding.
The governor of Shabwah Ali Hassan Al Ahmadi said Sunday that the anti-terror forces were “tightening the noose on the terrorists” in some of the houses of the village of Al Hawta in Mayfa’a district of Shabwah province.
“The blockade will continue until we get rid of them or they surrender themselves,” said the governor.