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Authorities block access to yet another independent news website

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns the action of the authorities in blocking access to the independent new website YemenPortal ( http://www.yemenportal.net ) since 19 January 2008. Access to at least seven other websites has been blocked since October 2007.

"President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government has to deal with growing social unrest and a Zaidi uprising but that is no reason to target the media and websites," the press freedom organisation said. "As it is unable to influence what they post, the government has decided to block independent news websites in order to suppress their criticisms."

Access to YemenPortal from within Yemen was blocked two days after Prime Minister Abdulkader Bajamal and other government officials accused the press on 17 January of "jeopardising the country's national interests" and "promoting incitement to secession."

YemenPortal editor Walid Al-Saqaf told Reporters Without Borders he founded the site with the aim of "giving a voice to all of the country's political tendencies and providing objective and independent news reports."

The news websites to which the Yemeni authorities have blocked access since October include http://www.yamenhurr.net , http://www.hnto.net , http://www.hdrmut.com , http:www.al-teef.com , http://www.al-yemen.org , http://www.adenpress.com and http://www.soutalgnoub.com .

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