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CALL FOR RELEASE OF EMBATTLED YEMENI JOURNALIST

Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, a veteran journalist and one of Yemen's most prominent democracy advocates, is going through an unprecedented legal battle to prove that he is not a terrorist plotting to topple the regime. On 21 May, he is due to be sentenced for "insulting the President" and "demoralising the military" - and could get the death penalty. In one click, send a letter supporting al-Khaiwani to the Yemeni government, U.S., U.K., and EU and UN representatives.

Last June, in the Yemeni capital Sana'a, al-Khaiwani was arrested by a security team during an early morning raid at his home. He was beaten and his six-year-old daughter was slapped unconscious. While on bail in August, he was kidnapped and tortured by thugs who threatened his life if he continued to write his scathing commentary about the Yemeni government.

But for al-Khaiwani, it was nothing new. In the 15 years he has been working as a journalist, al-Khaiwani has been abducted and imprisoned, his website blocked and his family threatened.

As al-Khaiwani's sentencing approaches, there is a growing fear a guilty verdict will open the door for more abuses against Yemen's journalists in the name of the war on terror.

Hamsa (Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance), an initiative of the American Islamic Congress, is collecting signatures for his release. Join al-Khaiwani's supporters in Yemen and throughout the world in urging the Yemen government not to jail journalists for their work: http://campaigns.aicongress.org/yemen

(13 May 2008)