Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Yemen Thugs Intimidating Journalists

The Islamic country of Yemen has been accused of intimidating and harassing free-lance journalists. It appears the acts are a move to prevent journalists from reporting on Yemen's continuing war between the majority Sunni Muslims and Shi'ite rebels.

"I wanted to take a good photograph of the protesters and so I stood on a nearby wall and took some photos. Minutes later, a man in civilian clothes came and grabbed my hand. Another man took hold of my other hand and then a third man started kicking my stomach. I fell to the ground. The first man who grabbed my hand then hit me on the back. The other two helped him and they took turns kicking me. Soon seven other men surrounded us so that no one could see me being attacked. There was no one to help me although the place was swarming with uniformed policemen.

"I stood up and thought of trying to resist them. But one of them used his head to butt my forehead. There was a small sharp instrument attached to his headgear and this left me with a bloody face. They told me to give them my camera but I refused. Then one of them took out a small dagger and threatened to kill me. I gave them the camera and fled. These were not common criminals. They were not ordinary thieves and I am not the only journalist to have been attacked at Freedom Square.


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