(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Minister of the Interior Hussain Mohamed Arab, RSF protested the detention of Hassan al Zaidi, journalist with the weekly "Yemen Times". "This arrest is especially worrying in that we do not know the reasons for it," said Robert Ménard, the organisation's secretary-general, who also asked the minister to explain the arrest.
According to information collected by RSF, on 8 September 2001, al Zaidi was arrested in Mareb (southern Yemen) by the security forces. He is being held at the Mareb administration's Political Security Office. The reason for his arrest remains unknown. He has not been allowed any visits from his family or relatives in the last ten days. Al Zaidi has written many articles about the kidnappings of Westerners in Yemen. He is from the same tribe as the kidnappers of the German diplomat who was abducted on 27 July.
Two journalists were arrested in Yemen in 2000. On 24 May 2000, Khalid al-Hamadi, correspondent for the London-based daily "Al-Quds Al-Arabi", was detained for several hours while taking photos of a student demonstration. On 11 July 2000, Samir Youssefi, editor-in-chief of the weekly "Al Thaqqafiah", was arrested after a complaint from the ulemas following the publication of excerpts from the novel "Sanaa, Open City" in his newspaper.