Yemen: Newspaper under siege

The offices of a Yemeni newspaper have been surrounded by armed men for over a week. On February 2, state-run daily Al-Thawra was surrounded by hundreds of men loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The attack followed the paper’s decision to print without Saleh’s picture on the front page for the first time in decades. The newspaper has not printed since Friday. In a similar attack, state-run daily Al-Gomhoriah was surrounded by Saleh supporters on Friday and Saturday. The group, who claimed the paper had become a mouthpiece for the opposition, prevented the paper from printing until Sunday. Four other journalists are under threat from a fatwa issued in early February that calls for their deaths and for the closure of the newspapers and websites that carried their articles.