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Blogger faces harassment, threats following critical posts

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has strongly condemned the harassment and threats against engineer Nashwan Abdu Ali Ghanim, whose blog on Katib website http://helal08.katib.org is now blocked in Yemen by the state security. The threats and harassment are based on his articles about the consequences of a terrorist operation targeting the U.S. embassy in Yemen, in which he accused certain political and military leaders of being involved in the attacks.

ANHRI denounces the harassment, which violates international laws and conventions, as well as Yemen's own constitution. ANHRI considers this action a breach of democratic principles, which the regime in Yemen claims to protect, and calls on Yemeni authorities to end the threats against Ghanim and guarantee his safety. The group also demands the immediate withdrawal of troops surrounding Ghanim's house, the investigation of his case and the immediate unblocking of his blog.

ANHRI reminds the Yemeni authorities of their obligations towards international conventions following their participation in a 2006 donor conference for states adopting democracy. In particular, ANHRI reminds the authorities to respect Article 19 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and of the International Convention for Civil and Political Rights, which deals with freedom of expression.

In the same context, ANHRI calls on human rights organizations at the local, regional and international level, as well as donor institutions, to support Ghanim and pressure the Yemeni authorities to guarantee his physical integrity and end persecutions against expression and opinion activists.

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