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News website editor arbitrarily arrested in eastern city

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns journalist Fouad Rashid's arbitrary arrest in Al-Mukalla, a city 500 km east of Sanaa that is the capital of Hadramaut province, and calls for his immediate release.

The editor of the Arabic-language news website Al-Mukalla Press ( http://www.topix.com/ye/al-mukalla ), Rashid was arrested on the street on the morning of 10 January 2011 and was taken to police headquarters by plain-clothes police officers. Reporters Without Borders has learned that the head of the Al-Mukalla journalists' union was able to talk with him for nearly two hours on the evening of 10 January.

Born in 1970, Rashid previously worked for the newspapers "Al-Massila" and "26 September" before founding Al-Mukalla Press, which has regularly covered the unrest in the south of the country.

He was previously arrested on 4 May 2009 and was held without trial for more than a year, finally being released on the justice minister's orders on 26 May 2010.

Ilah Haydar Shae, a journalist who was arrested on 16 August 2010, is meanwhile still in solitary confinement in an intelligence service prison in Sanaa, where he has refused to attend several recent hearings before a special state security court because he disputes its legality.

Shae is also challenging the legality of his arrest in August 2010 and a previous arrest on 11 July, insisting those responsible for these arrests, which he regards as cases of "forced disappearance", are the ones who should be prosecuted.
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