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Yemeni authorities ban the printing of an independent newspaper

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced Yemeni authorities' decision to ban the printing of independent newspaper Aden Alghad without providing clear reasons.

Yemeni authorities issued the ban against the newspaper closely allied with the southern separatist movement on 22 February. Protests were held in Aden as a result of the ban and hundreds of citizens gathered in front of the 14th October Foundation for Journalism, Printing and Publishing; calling for the decision to be reversed. The authorities, however, have not halted their crackdown on the newspaper and the ban is still in place.

The 14th October Foundation informed Aden Alghad that it would not be printing its 23 February issue alleging that it had received presidential and governmental orders obliging it to prevent the printing of the paper.

Indicators show that the real reason behind the ban is that it had published details of those murdered and injured in the South in addition to spreading news about peaceful protests being repressed by Yemeni authorities.

The authorities justified their anti-press freedom decision by saying that the newspaper did not get a license from the competent authorities. The newspaper, in turn, denied such a claim, saying that it already obtained a license from the Ministry of Information; and that it has been committed to the principles of the press since its first issue.

“The Yemeni authorities' decision to ban the publicaiton of Aden Alghad newspaper is considered a relapse for Yemen in terms of press freedom," said ANHRI. "Yemen has recently witnessed a remarkable setback due to the increasing violations against press institutions together with their employees, either by citizens or by Yemeni forces. Such violations occur as a result of journalists simply doing their jobs objectively and for documenting what goes on in the country."

The decision to ban the newspapers' publication came a few hours after Yemeni authorities' assault on the newspaper's editor-in-chief and their seizure of his licensed handgun, which he obtained after receiving death threats.

ANHRI demands from Yemeni authorities to immediately reverse their decision. It also calls on the authorities to put an end to any form of harassment of press and media institutions and employees.

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