Skyline: Illegal Rules against Freedom of Opinion in Yemen
STOCKHOLM - Skyline International condemns commands issued by the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen, which has seized control of the city of Aden, and other regions in the country, to target and pursue activists on Social media.
The Stockholm-based international foundation has acquired information on May 8 about a circular note issued by Ahmed Saeed bin Brik, calling for the detention and fining of anyone who ridicules or makes propaganda against the new authority. Ahmed Saeed is acting as president of the Southern Transitional Council and head of the self-imposed Southern Yemeni Separatism Movement.
Skyline has formally requested an explanation about the mentioned circular issued by the Office of External Relations of the Transitional Council in London. Still, the latter has declined to make any comment.
Skyline warns the southern government that such commands are a flagrant violation of the freedom of opinion and expression, and put in danger journalists, bloggers and social media activists who now can be subject to arbitrary arrest and illegal detention.
Also, Skyline stresses that such instructions contradict Yemen's international obligations, and the provisions of the International Covenant in Article 19, which states: “Everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference and that everyone has a right to freedom of expression. Including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas, regardless of borders, in writing or print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."
Furthermore, Article (18) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948 stipulates that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion,” while Article 19 states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” This right includes “freedom to hold opinions without interference,” and broadcast information and ideas through any media.
The International Skyline Foundation calls on the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to cancel such instructions that restrict the freedom of opinion and expression. It demands the STC to halt any behavior that violates the law and human rights, including everything that threatens public freedoms.