Thursday, March 24, 2005

al-Khaiwani Free

Jane at Armies of Liberation deserves much credit for spear-heading the fight to free prisoner of conscience Abdul-Karim Al-Khaiwani:

President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared amnesty to Abdul-Karim Al-Khaiwani, editor-in-chief of Al-Shoura Newspaper, a day after a Sana’a appeal court confirmed the primary court verdict.
Our efforts in bringing the petition or the weight of our combined readership may have played some part in his release. We’ll never know exactly what happened but somehow he’s out.

I am not surprised by the way you all responded. Nor am I surprised that so many stood up so strongly for the Yemeni people and Mr. al-Khaiwani. It was a beautiful thing to watch unfold.
I did little more than sign the on-line petition, but it is a good feeling to be part of another blow against tyranny. Thanks, Jane, for keeping us all posted.

UPDATE: There is also this interesting piece of news:
from what I understand and I’m not sure I have this story straight: he refused to leave the jail cell because it was an amnesty not a reversal of the bogus charges. His friends had to drag him out. He’s got the courage of his convictions alright. It shows the enormity of the challenges the people in the Middle East are facing. And it brings up the important point that the massive crackdown on the press is ongoing with many other Yemeni journalists under seige and without recourse. The problem is far from solved. There’s still no free speech in Yemen.

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