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Security forces confiscate copies of newspapers

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 27 August 2011 - ANHRI condemns the ongoing violations of the rights and freedoms of Yemeni citizens by the security forces of dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. Security force personnel seized copies of the independent newspapers "Al-Omana'a" and "Al-Thawry" last week at government security checkpoints. Copies of "Al-Omana'a" were seized in the Al-Hoban district near the entrance to the city of Taiz, while copies of "Al-Thawry" were seized at Al-Khamseen street, in the Hadda district. Not only did the security force personnel seize the copies of the newspapers, but they also set them on fire and assaulted distributors of the papers, without giving any explanation for their actions.

A military patrol belonging to the Republican Guard seized 200 copies of "Al-Omana'a", preventing its distribution in Taiz. This action was part of a series of similar confiscations of independent and partisan newspapers at border crossing points, where security personnel have neglected their main mission, which is to protect citizens, and have devoted themselves instead to seizing newspapers and protecting the authorities, said ANHRI. As a result, "Al-Omana'a" and "Al-Thawry" are now in line behind the "Al-Ahaly", "Al-Qadiya", "Al-Yaqeen" and "Al-Sharei" newspapers, which have also been targeted, in addition to news websites that have been blocked in desperate attempts to impose a blackout on the situation in Yemen.

"The Yemeni regime has not learned any lessons from the Arab revolutions the region is witnessing and still thinks that police repression and subjugation of freedoms can help it stay in power longer. What the current repressive regime should know, however, is that it has lost any legitimacy, and that its attempts to stay in power any longer will not result in anything other than more destabilisation and tension in Yemen," said ANHRI.

ANHRI added, "All the repressive practices of the authorities in the Arab region have not and will not stop the flow of information about the uprisings witnessed by the Arab world. This also applies to the situation in Yemen. As such, the Yemeni regime must learn a lesson from what has happened in neighbouring countries that were able to topple autocracies, such as Egypt, Tunisia and, the newcomer, Libya."

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