Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Journalist jailed for telling truth

In January 2011, a Yemeni journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, was sentenced to five years in jail on terrorism-related charges.

Shaye had been reporting facts that both the Yemeni and US government wanted to suppress, including the bombing of a village in Yemen - al Majala - which killed 14 women and 21 children.

Although the Yemeni government admitted responsibility for the strike, Shaye found evidence - remnants of Tomahawk cruise missiles and cluster bombs - that it had actually been a US strike.

In short, Shaye had been convicted on trumped-up charges as punishment for uncovering US complicity in a mass killing.

Then, on the eve of his pardon and release from prison, a phonecall from President Barack Obama to the Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, expressing US concerns over the imminent release of Shaye, meant that the pardon was rescinded.

It is important that Shaye is released, so that journalists throughout the world can continue to inform us without fearing retaliation for what they report.

LOUIS SHAWCROSS

Hillsborough, Co Down

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