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Cablegate: Yemeni Media Reaction to Retraction of Newsweek

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

171152Z May 05

UNCLAS SANAA 001315

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARPI, NEA/P, NEA/PD, NEA/RA,
DS/OP/NEA AND S/CT
NEA/P FOR GSULLIVAN AND RSHORE
NEA/PD FOR CWHITTLESEY
NEA/ARPI FOR TROBERTS
CENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PTER KISL YM
SUBJECT: YEMENI MEDIA REACTION TO RETRACTION OF NEWSWEEK
MAGAZINE REPORT ALLEGING DESECRATION OF KORAN BY U.S.
INTERROGATORS AT GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA.

REF: STATE 00088240

1. SUMMARY: Yemeni media reporting of the retraction by
Newsweek of its story alleging desecration of the Koran in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is thus far fairly widespread and
straightforward. Notable exceptions are official media
outlets Saba News Agency and Al-Thawra newspaper. END
SUMMARY

2. The Newsweek retraction of a May 9, 2005 report alleging
the desecration of the Koran by American soldiers at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was reported on May 17 by Aden-based Al-
Ayyam independent daily, Al-Sahwa Net (news website of
Islah), the Defense Ministry-run news website 26 September,
and even by sensationalist Akhbar Al-Yawm independent daily.
All reports were fair and straightforward. Along with the
Newsweek retraction (which was published in full by Al-Ayyam
and partly by the others) Al-Ayyam quoted doubts in
Afghanistan and Pakistan on the retraction.

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3. Official media, such as Al-Thawra and Saba News Agency,
however, did not publish the Newsweek retraction. On the
contrary, Saba News Agency published on May 17 a strongly
worded statement by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia
condemning the alleged Koran desecration and demanding that
those responsible for the desecration receive a deterring
punishment.

KRAJESKI

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