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Human rights newspaper banned

(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Minister of Information Alawadi Hussein, RSF protested the ban on a human rights monthly. RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard asked the minister to "reconsider his decision." RSF noted that, on 25 April 2001 in Geneva, the United Nations Commission for Human Rights adopted a resolution noting with "deep concern" the insecurity, threats and harassment experienced by human rights activists in numerous countries. In this resolution, the Commission "urgently called on all States to co-operate with the special representative for human rights activists."

According to information collected by RSF, on 24 April the first issue of a human rights monthly was banned by the information minister. Ministry officials said the publication violated the press law. They did not elaborate. Following the ban, the newspaper was removed from newsstands. The monthly, published by Mohammed Naji Alaw, a member of the Institution of Human Rights Activists, was the first regular publication of its kind in Yemen. Yemen's press law exempts organisations and political parties from applying for a publication permit.

On 30 January, a court ordered the closure of the weekly "Al-Shomou" for a month, for libel against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (see IFEX alert of 2 February 2001).

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