Journalists said that the government has launched a crackdown to prevent them from reporting on the protests.Independent journalists in Yemen have accused the government of trying to silence media by orchestrating attacks against media persons. The poverty-stricken country has been swept by protests that seek the ouster of Yemen troubled leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.Journalists said that the government has launched a crackdown to prevent them from reporting on the protests. Since early this year, attacks on journalists have sharply increased and many newspapers were confiscated.Marwan Damaj, secretary general of the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate (YJS), a non-governmental umbrella organisation of journalists, said that journalists are paying a heavy price for covering the events in the country."Fours photojournalists have been killed since the beginning of the uprising. Snipers receive orders from the government to single out photojournalists and kill."The YJS said that it has been alerted to the abuses against journalists which include, tracking and beating and closing down media establishments.According to some journalists, one of the tactics that the government uses to gag media is through confiscation of newspapers that publish stories about the protests. Editors of independent newspapers said that they cannot distribute their newspapers beyond the capital due to security checkpoints that work as government censors.Ali Jaradi, editor of Al Ahali weekly newspaper, said that the government seizes the copies of the newspaper that go to the other districts."Police have taken the duties of the ministry of information. They seize them and sometimes burn the copies. The government thinks that some newspapers that cover the anti-regime protests are enemies that must be stopped."Jaradi added some newspapers shut down and many others may follow if the government continued to illtreat journalists.For his newspaper, some companies stopped their adverts while others defaulted on the dues."We have tried to distribute the newspaper in banana boxes or send them with ordinary people to avoid policemen and to ensure the copies hit the newsstands on time. Sometimes we wrap our packages with government-run Al Thura daily. However, police scour vehicles that leave usually looking for newspapers, he saidAl Ola newspaper is another media outlet that was greatly affected by the government harassment."Government has increasingly confiscated our newspaper. Just recently, they burned 13,000 copies which were sent to other provinces, Mohammad Ayesh, editor of the newspaper, told Gulf News."Since we are a daily newspaper, we are unable to distribute the newspaper outside Sana'a. Sometimes we succeed in sending copies but most of the time we fail. "Both editors agreed that if the government did not stop harassing them, they would be forced to shut their shops.