Stop Attacking the American Journalist
October 2005Yemen Times by Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani
Many official newspapers and others affiliated to the ruling party launched a fierce attack against the American writer and Journalist Jane Novak. The observer of current matters in the Yemeni scenario knows the secret of such an attack against Ms. Novak who publishes regular columns reflecting the Political situation in Yemen and the different types of harassments Yemeni journalists and opinion leaders of free speech are subjected to.
No freedom loving person can bear the current government-led malice against the development of democracy in Yemen, and being Yemenis we have the confidence that democracy in Yemen will eventually move in a safer direction. The stance taken by Ms. Novak to defend the press freedom and protect the life of journalists and human rights activists confirms her continuous aspirations for a more prosperous future for Yemen.
In spite of that, Government Newspapers such as The Yemen Observer, which is directly affiliated to Presidential office took lead in the attack against the U.S. writer and alleged that Ms. Novak isn’t a mere journalist but a political analyst who is interested in the Yemeni affairs and she has an electronic site and write for several papers in the U.S. and other countries including Yemen.
Has the Yemen Observer forgotten that it published nearly seven articles for Ms. Novak, one of them was titled ‘Yemen in the spring’? The question, which has been raised, is that how is it possible for the President’s journalist Mr. Sanabani to meet a Zionist writer.
Our colleague Mr. Sanabani still remembers that during his visit to the U.S. in last June, he asked a friend of Novak to give him her telephone number in order to make calls with her. She refused to give her number. Al-Mithaq paper, which circulates the accusation against the western journalist, does not actually know that information and it never learned of another attempt made in the office of Yemen’s permanent representative. So this is a heavy accusation for the local consumption.
Now, it is time we should turn to the writer and reason behind the accusation. Jane Novak is a U.S. political analyst who is interested in the issues of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, particularly after the 9/11 attack on the U.S. On Yemen she wrote numerous articles.
During my imprisonment last year, she adopted my case and defended me as a prisoner of opinion. She closely observed numerous issues in Yemen and wrote about democracy, journalism, human rights, Sa’ada events and terrorism and her interest in the Yemeni issues qualified her to give lectures in Colombia University. As a journalistic writer, Novak’s articles are characterized by professionalism, objectivity and authenticity.
Novak’s recent report on the situations of journalists and journalism is clear-cut evidence of her efforts devoted for such issues. All what has been mentioned was also indicated by some international organizations and correspondents without borders and discussed by different media means.
Being an independent political article, Jane is an effective voice having its strong reverberation in different parts of the world. After their failure to attract Novak to their side, the Yemeni authorities turned to terrorize journalists, harm the reputation of Novak and prevent the circulation of her articles in the country in order not to let the Yemeni journalists know the westerners who back them.
It is really a fact which reveals how the Yemeni authorities treat the other opinion. The attack against Novak is neither the first nor the last of its kind since this writer has a special opinion about the corruption and indiscipline in Yemen.
I would like to expressed my sincere thank and gratitude to Jane Novak, for her interest in Yemen and other issues related to freedoms and human rights, among them is adopting my case and defending me as a prisoner of opinion.