SANA'A, April 28 (YJS) - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has urged the new Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to release journalist Abdul-Elah Haidar Shaye, who was pardoned by former President Ali Abdallah Saleh but is being kept behind bars to serve out his three year jail term at the behest of the US administration for alleged links with al Qaida.
The Federation was reacting to recent promises made by President Hadi in a meeting with IFJ President Jim Boumelha, to act swiftly and turn the page of the painful episode for media in the country.
"I reminded President Hadi of his government's responsibility to protect journalists and we welcome his commitment to press freedom," said Jim Boumelha following his meeting with the Yemeni leader which took place on 15 April. "We are now urging him to make good on his promises by ordering the release of Abdul-Elah Haidar Shaye whose continued detention is a blatant denial of justice."
The IFJ will mark this year's World Press Freedom Day on 3 May by highlighting the situation of jailed journalists, including the case of Shaye as well as many other colleagues languishing in jails of countries such as Eritrea, Iran and Turkey.
The Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate (YJS), an IFJ affiliate, issued a statement welcoming the President's undertakings on press freedom, in particular to release Shaye which has raised hopes in the journalists' community and the public of seeing the journalist freed. The YJS also joined the IFJ in calling on the new government to involve journalists' leaders in the discussion over the future shape of journalism and the media landscape.
During his visit to Yemen, the IFJ President praised the tenacity of the syndicate which survived the recent turbulent times in the country with its unity intact.
"The union emerged intact out of its ordeal as they passed with distinction the test of standing up for each other no matter their political allegiance," Boumelha said. "They did so with unwavering solidarity from the world journalists' community and they did us proud."
26 April 2012