Cablegate: Media Reaction On Al Moayad's Sentencing in U.S.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
281055Z Aug 05
UNCLAS SANAA 002451
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/PD, NEA/RA, DS/OP/NEA AND
CENTCOM FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PHUM PTER KISL YM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON AL MOAYAD'S SENTENCING IN U.S.
FEDERAL COURT TO 75 YEARS IN PRISON.
NEA/PPD FOR AFERNANDEZ
1. SUMMARY: There is increasing public reaction in Yemen to
the July sentencing of Al-Moayad to 75 years in prison by a
U.S. federal court for providing material support to
terrorism. Although there is less attention devoted by
government media to the case, independent and party-
affiliated newspapers continue to address it and to cover
public activities held in solidarity with Al Moayad. A
rising criticism of the U.S. court system appears in the
local media, chiefly in opposition and independent papers
and papers affiliated with opposition parties. Overall, the
sentencing of Al-Moayad is viewed by Yemeni media as
evidence of a lack of justice in the U.S. judicial system
with many predicting that the sentencing will further
inflame anti-U.S. sentiment in Yemen. END SUMMARY
2. Independent papers and those affiliated with opposition
parties reported on a major gathering of sheikhs,
dignitaries, and seniors of Al-Moayad's Khawlan tribe and on
their statement calling for the immediate release of Al-
Moayad and asking President Saleh to put Al Moayad's case at
the top of his agenda for his November visit to Washington.
The newly established independent weekly Annida (08/04)
accused the Government of not working hard enough for Al-
Moayad's release saying: "Had the regime been more serious
about the Al-Moayad case, Al-Moayad would have been released
a long time ago." The English language independent Yemen
Times, a biweekly, published an opinion piece entitled, "For
the Love of Israel," which argued that the trial of Sheikh
Al-Moayad "has proven once again that...the United States is
now also the official lynch man for the Zionist state.
...Originally, starting as a case of anti-terrorism post
9/11, the case, based on relatively weak allegations of
aiding Hamas, ended ultimately as no more than another free
service to Israel."
3. Opposition media, including Al Sahwa Net (www.alsahwa-
yemen.net), website of major opposition Islah party, and
other news websites, highlighted (8/01) a statement released
jointly by political parties and some civil society
organizations condemning the sentencing of Sheikh Al Moayad
in a statement which stated that the case, "will inflame
anti-US sentiments." Pro-opposition newspapers commented
that the verdict "has exposed" the U.S. Administration's
"claims about the independence of its judicial system."
"The verdict was based on preconceived assumptions magnified
by post-9/11 sentiments," according to the independent
weekly Annas (circulation 15,000; 8/01).
4. Independent newspapers carried a statement by Yemeni
clerics urging President Saleh to work diligently so the
U.S. releases Sheikh Al-Moayad and his associate; moreover,
they urged all political forces, leaders, and Yemeni civil
society organizations to continue advocating, "until their
demands are met," for their release and return.