Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction to Roundtable On the U.S. Human

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

131205Z Apr 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 000930

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/PD, NEA/RA, DS/OP/NEA AND
S/CT
CENTCOM FOR POLAD
NEA/PPD FOR MQUINN, JESMITH, CWHITTLESEY


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PTER KISL YM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION TO ROUNDTABLE ON THE U.S. HUMAN
RIGHTS REPORT ON YEMEN, MARCH 24, 2005.


1. SUMMARY: Post hosted a roundtable discussion March 24 to
discuss with emeni stakeholders local reactions to the
realease of the 2004 Human Rights Report (HRR). The event,
co-sponsored by the Yemeni Center for Human Rights (a local
NGO) was attended by civil society representatives and
various media organizations. State-run and ruling party
media were generally critical of the report, characterizing
its sources as "weak" and "unreliable" and the information
as "inaccurate". These were shared by some opposition
media. Independent media, however, offered straightforward
coverage of the report and several NGO representatives
judged the event "useful and informative". END SUMMARY

2. Various government media outlets, including Yemen TV, Al-
Thawra official daily, Saba News Agency, and Aden-based
October 14 focused mainly on the criticism that the report
was "inaccurate." The official Al-Thawra daily (03/25)
published a front-page report titled "legal experts
criticize the State Department Human Rights Report on
Yemen." Quoting unnamed sources, Al-Thawra said:
"participants have indicated that, in spite of the hard work
spent on this report, it contained mistakes particularly
with regard to the rights of the handicapped, the issues of
religious freedom, women and civil rights." Al-Thawra
requested that "when preparing such reports the Yemeni civil
society must be involved." All the above government media
outlets highlighted DCM's statement describing Yemen's human
rights record favorably "compared to previous years and
other countries in the region."

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.


2. Al-Mithaq weekly (03/28, mouthpiece of the ruling General
People's Congress party) published a front-page report
quoting unidentified lawyers, legal experts and civil
society representatives as criticizing the U.S. human rights
report "for relying on weak sources." Al-Mithaq added that
roundtable participants all agreed "that the report
distorted the facts and twisted meanings by relying on
imprecise and uncertain sources in the process of
information gathering."

3. A more detailed report was published by the widely read
Al-Sahwa Net website (03/24, run by Islamic-oriented Al-
Sahwa opposition weekly) which focused on key areas where
the HRR stated "regression was witnessed" (re:press
freedom). Al-Sahwa Net quoted a number of attendees of the
roundtable who criticized the report's lack of "accuracy"
and relying on "imprecise" sources when gathering
information. In addition, Al-Sahwa Net referred to comments
by other participants who accused the U.S. of "deliberately
ignoring" more serious human rights abuses.

4. Notoriously anti-American Al-Wahdawi weekly (03/29,
mouthpiece of the opposition Nasserite party) published a
very critical report of what it called America's "human
rights abuses." The report quoted prominent Yemeni writer
and active Nasserite party member Mohamed Al-Sabri (one of
the participants) as saying "America should first be brought
to account for its own human rights abuses. It is stupid
for us to deal with Washington as a charitable welfare
organization." Al-Wahdawi continued to quote Al-Sabri: "The
Americans have no right to impose on us their own standards
with regard to human rights. Non-governmental organizations
should be relied on instead to monitor and observe human
rights abuses in Yemen."

5. Sawt al-Shura (03/28, monthly of the opposition Popular
Forces Union) published an editorial attacking lack of
autonomy in the Yemeni judiciary. The article claimed the
findings of the 2004 HRR backed his assertion. relied on the
U.S. human rights report on Yemen to back its claims. The
article defended the U.S. report saying it should not be
considered external interference with domestic affairs
"since such reports help in disclosing the wrongdoings of
bad governments."

6. The English-language Yemen Times bi-weekly gave front
page coverage of the seminar stating that the 2004 HRR has
stirred a lot of controversy, protests and comments by some
Yemeni officials. Editorializing on the issue the Yemen
Times continued: "The U.S. stance toward Yemen has a double-
standard policy. Tension of the Yemeni government toward
the report has led to forming a committee to respond to it."

7. COMMENT ON TELEVISION COVERAGE: Despite the fact that all
regional TV channels were present during the seminar, only
Al-Hurra broadcast a report which was objective and
straightforward. END COMMENT

KRAJESKI

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.