Sign up for weekly updates

Human rights defender charged with abusing judiciary

(ANHRI/IFEX) - On 16 February 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced the escalated crackdown against newspapers and independent journalists in Yemen that has been extended to human rights activists. Mohammed Naji, coordinator of the National Commission for Defending Rights and Freedoms "HOOD" and former MP, was prosecuted via a warrant issued by the Head Judge of the press court. Naji is charged with abusing the judiciary. He has criticized the press court and claimed the charges are exceptional, unconstitutional and illegal.

In March 2009, Naji criticized the specialized press court in a symposium organized by the "Sageen," (prisoner) organization. "AlBalagh" reported on Naji's criticism and was then prosecuted. A hearing has been set for 27 February 2010.

The decision of the Supreme Judicial Council, in May 2009, to establish a specialized court for press and publication cases, was widely criticized and rejected, not welcomed by Yemeni journalists and supporters of press freedom.

ANHRI said, "These unfair government practices against the press and journalists must stop. Extending the crackdown to persecute one of the most prominent human rights activists in Yemen and the Arab world is quite alarming and is a herald of returning to the dark ages of tyranny and political oppression in Yemen."

Yemeni courts have turned out to be the most active in the Arab world, where an unfair trial for a newspaper or a journalist is held almost daily because of the media's persistence in supporting the right of citizens to be aware of the tragic situations caused by short-sighted government practices. In addition, the government holds the so-called war on terror as an excuse to attack press freedom and civil society activists who stand against the continuously deteriorating political and economic situations in Yemen.

Latest Tweet:

Malaysia: @CIJ_Malaysia is concerned over the use of the Sedition Act to arrest individuals for posting comments on…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.