Protesters demand to release journalists
Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC) on Tuesday staged its twenty second sit-in in solidarity with Alayam newspaper, demanding to release the journalist Mohammed al-Maqaleh, Salah al-Saqladi, Faud Rashid and Eyad Ghanim.
In the sit-in attended by hundreds of politicians, journalists and activists, Secretary General Nasserist Unionist People's Organization Sultan al-Atwani delivered a speech in which he praised the protesters, saying that 30 November must be an occasion of the rights supporters.
"These authorities only know to use the force and you are our force to overturn this force which could not protect people, and only works to restrict our freedoms. These authorities closed down Alayam newspaper, besieged it and confiscated the content of Almasdar newspaper.
However, these repressive acts will not undermine our freedom and we will continue in our struggle for freedom" he added.
For her part, Chairwoman of WJWC expressed pleasure as many people took part in the sit-in, saying that rights and freedoms are increasingly violated by the regime.
Karman said that censorship and closing down of newspapers is a conspiracy against freedom of expression which is considered the real indication for democracy, affirming that freedom of expression should be as an important right as food and water.
Karman made clear that the Yemeni society faces three hardships; poverty, war and turmoil, and gagging of mouths, stressing that the journalist Eyad Ghanim was shot wounded when he was taking photos for Alayam newspaper.
"Freedom of expression will prevail and this participation in the sit-in is a clear-cut evidence" she added.
In the conclusion of her speech, Karman demanded the protesters to chant slogans of the sit-in; freedom for Alayam newspapers, freedom for Almasdar newspaper, freedom for Mohammed al-Maqleh, Salah al-Saqladi, Fuad Rashid and Eyad Ghanim.
She demanded the authorities to release the journalist Mohammed al-Maqleh who has been kidnapped for more than two months and none knows the destination of his detention so far.
A speech was delivered on behalf of the Yemeni Teacher Syndicate. It was delivered by Chief of YTS Ahmed al-Rabahi in which he pronounced solidarity with newspapers of Alayam and Almasdar and the journalists Mohammed al-Maqaleh, Salah al-Saqladi, Fuad Rashid and Eyad Ghani, demanding to swiftly release the journalists or refer them to courts if they are guilty.
He said that the way of abduction is refused by all religions and societies, pointing out that crackdown on newspapers is refused. He called the state authorities to respect freedom of opinion and expression.
The activist Ali al-Kumaim demanded the government to release journalists and newspapers, pointing out that they have no weapon except the weapon of the word.
The politician Hatim Abu Hatim demanded to release the detainees, questioning about the state of the constitution and law and confirming that it is a shame to repress journalists. He affirmed that people should struggle peacefully an avoid bloodshed.
Spokesperson of the Joint Meeting Parties Naif al-Qanis congratulated the protesters on the occasion of Eid al-Dha. He also expressed sorrow as the detainees were still languishing in custodies, saying that the Yemeni officials have no mercy on the Yemeni people.
He further demanded, on behalf of the Joint Meeting Parties, the Yemeni authorities and all human rights organizations to put pressures on the relevant authorities to put an end to crackdown and repression against journalists and newspapers.
The poet Ahmed al-Munaie urged leaders of the opposition parties to take into streets, and share activists and journalists who demand the authorities to release the journalists and put an end to restrictions imposed on freedom of expression.