An appeals court in Yemen has upheld a one-year jail sentence for a journalist charged with posting false information on his Facebook page linking a local government official to corruption.
A court in Al-Baydha upheld the jail sentence and 100,000 rial ($465) fine March 10 for online journalist Majed Karout, Reporters Without Borders said, citing local news sources.
Karout, a reporter for Yemen’s Masdar Online news site was initially tried in absentia in 2011.
Three years after demonstrations ousted long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh during the Arab Spring, the situation for journalists continues to be worrying. According to Reporters Without Borders, there have been more than 20 violations of press freedom in the past six months.
On March 2 an Al-Arabiya TV crew was attacked by the police outside of a law court in the capital Sana’a. The journalists were covering the arrival of a convoy of detainees when security personnel beat them and seized their equipment, according to the Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.
On Feb. 25, Yemeni authorities banned the printing of Aden Alghad newspaper, a publication viewed as sympathetic to separatists in southern Yemen, according to ANHRI.
Attacks on the press in the country are “are designed to gag dissent, and take place amid complete silence from the Yemeni authorities,” ANHRI said in a statement.
Yemen ranks 167 of 180 on Reporters’ Without Borders World Press Freedom Index.