The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today welcomed the release of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, stating that it is a victory for press freedom and thanking the Yemen Journalists Syndicate (YJS) for its hard work and commitment in securing his freedom.
According to the YJS, Shaye was released by the President of Yemen, Adb Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, yesterday evening, Tuesday 23 July, after serving three years of a five year prison sentence. He had been pardoned by former Yemeni President, Ali Adballah Saleh, but was being kept behind bars at the behest of the US administration for alleged links with al Qaida.
"We welcome this great news that Abduleh Haider Shaye has been released after three long years behind bars and can now return to his family, loved ones and colleagues," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "We congratulate the YJS on this momentous day and thank them and the Yemeni journalists who kept Shaye's case alive and ran a three year campaign demanding his release."
The YJS has thanked President Adb Rabbuh Mansur Hadi for organising Shaye's release despite pressure from the US Embassy. It has stressed the key role played by the journalist community in Yemen in securing his release and called for continued solidarity and unity among journalists in the future.
In a meeting with IFJ President Jim Boumelha and the YJS leadership in April 2012, President Hadi hds promised to release the journalist. The recent IFJ World Congress in Dublin also adopted a resolution urging the Yemeni government to keep its promise to free Shaye and condemning the US administration for its continual pressure on Yemen to keep him in prison.
"The IFJ has worked closely with our affiliate, the YJS, and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) to help secure Shaye's release, a hugely progressive step that is a victory for press freedom, justice and the right of Yemeni journalists to work freely and safely," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "We urge the Yemeni government to continue to improve its support for press freedom in the country and to develop legislation that will further protect the rights and freedoms of its journalists."