I don’t know about my friend Ledeen. He keeps pushing this freedom and democracy thing. Maybe he should give it a rest. But he keeps guilting me into helping try to bring human rights into obscure and supposedly hopeless places like Lebanon… scratch that… I mean Yemen. [That’s better.-ed.]
His latest idealistic foray concerns this journalist Adbulkarim al-Khaiwani who is currently in jail there for the crime of “insulting the president.” What did this insult consist of? Al-Khaiwani wrote an op-ed questioning Yemen’s President Saleh for bombing his own country and killing an estimated four hundred people. According to blogger Jane of the website Armies of Liberation:
He was prohibited from seeing his lawyer and raising a defense at his trial. His appeal has been delayed 5 times. He’s been beaten in jail, once resulting in a broken jaw. I’m not saying he’s Gandhi but I know he’s been pushing for a democratic Yemen. The Yemeni government is abusing its own laws in the way it’s treating him. He’s in jail for his opinions.
Armies of Liberation has a petition to President Saleh on behalf of al-Khaiwani and other Yemeni journalists. Perhaps readers here and other bloggers and their readers can join me in signing it.