Monday, November 15, 2010

I Marvel At The Courage

Journalist David Rowan of Wired Magazine writes about a fellow journalist in Yemen:

"I'm humbled by the bravery of Abdulkarim El-Khewani. El-Khewani is a Yemeni journalist who felt his readers needed to know about corruption and injustices. After he became the editor-in-chief of Al-Shora newspaper, he published articles about 'corruption in the petroleum sector', about government officials lining their pockets. So the Yemeni authorities kept harassing and then jailing him, repeatedly, on charges such as 'insulting the president of the Republic of Yemen'. They also closed his newspaper. He offered evidence that he was tortured and there were death threats. But he wouldn't learn.
During one arrest, in June 2007, El-Khewani was beaten and his six-year-old daughter Eba slapped unconscious. This is tough for a six-year-old to live through. Especially when you then learn that your Dad has been jailed again, this time for six years."

(Here is a video of Eba talking about how she asked her Dad to stop writing, and her little efforts that she made trying to stop him.)

David went on to write about this video:

"That video makes you angry, doesn't it? It makes you want to go out and do something. Well, that's what saved El-Khewani, other people, in other countries, giving a damn about him, and all because of one powerful, raw video. It was made by a human-rights group in Yemen, the Sisters Arabic Forum for Human Rights. The video was put on YouTube, on the social networks, it reached the US State Department, and it boosted a campaign calling for El-Khewani's immediate relaease. All the pressure from local and international organizations finally paid off, El-Khewani received a presidential pardon and was released from the Sana's prison.

When he came out, he said he felt that the world was on his side. "I was not alone to face the ordeal, because I felt that all the organizations were with me. So I felt strong." Today, I want everyone to know that you can help protect brave journalists like him. It's all about helping shine a light on their work, making them visible internationally, so that those who seek to oppress them know that they won't do so with impunity."

This is just one story of the many brave journalists around the world that David Rowan wrote about.


  1. How sad and amazing all at the same time Eileen. What a brave little girl. It so astonishing what the power of many that rally for a cause can accomplish! Wonderful post.
    Love Di ♥

  2. This is just a reminder of how much we should value our freedom of speech, people all over the world die for this freedom. Great post!!

  3. Excellent post! How horrifying for that family. I think the more that people stand up for what they believe in the better off our world will be. Thank you for posting Eileen!

  4. My favorite cousin was in Yemen, Eileen. He was stationed over there for months, and his mother barely slept.

    This is such an inspirational thing. Thanks for sharing. Amazing what the internet can do for good.


    Sheila :-)