(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Justice Minister Ismaïl Ahmed El Ouazir, RSF protested "the suspension of Saif Haderi, owner and editor-in-chief of the weekly 'Al-Choumou', from practising his profession for a period of ten months". RSF asked the minister "to do everything in his power to ensure the annulment of the sentence". In February 2000, a court served a lifetime ban on Jamal Amer, a journalist with the opposition daily "Al Wahdawi". The sentence was finally quashed following pressure from Yemenite journalists and international press freedom organisations (see IFEX alerts of 10 March and 24 February 2000).
According to information collected by RSF, on 6 August, a Sanaa court barred Haderi from practising his profession for a period of ten months and ordered him to pay a two million Riyal (US$13,000) fine for damages to the education minister and his assistant. Haderi was convicted of "slandering" the minister, who he had implicated in a corruption case. The court also fined the newspaper US$650 and Haderi US$460 for publishing articles about the trial despite a court prohibition. The director of "Al-Choumou" plans to appeal the ruling.
In February, Amer was sentenced to a lifetime ban from journalism and ordered to pay a 5,000 Riyal fine (approx. US$32, 40 Euros) for publishing an article in August 1999 in the opposition weekly "Al Wahdawi", which "struck a blow at Yemen's relations with Saudi Arabia".