Photo posted to Facebook by @aljamal2007 of Abdulelah Haider Shaye, after he was freed from prison
Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who United States President Barack Obama had been keeping in prison, has been released.
Shaye was apparently given a presidential pardon that requires him to remain in Sanaa for two years. This means he would be prohibited from traveling to many of the areas where US drone strikes have taken place while he was in prison or where they will take place over the next two years.
Journalist Iona Craig, a Times of London correspondent in Yemen who had covered Shaye’s case for two years, reacted, “Delighted to say, after two years of covering his case, jailed journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is free. I can’t quite believe it.”
Craig acknowledged that Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi deserved credit for keeping his word and releasing Shaye. She also praised the organization, Index on Censorship, in the United Kingdom for calling attention to “Shaye’s long-running story” and the threat his imprisonment posed to freedom of expression.
Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemeni youth activist and writer who testified before Congress this year on the impact of US drone operations in his country, reacted, “After FOUR years of jailing him by order from Barack Obama, Yemeni government releases journalist Abdulelah Shaea.” He also said, “Only Barack Obama can compete with Yemen’s dictators (throughout history) in jailing journalists and killing civilians in Yemen,” and, “What a great Iftar Shaea’s kids might be having today; having their father back with them after 4 years in prison.”
The story of Shaye is told in detail by Jeremy Scahill in his book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. Shaye went to the site of a US cruise missile attack in al Majalah where at least 21 children and 14 women were killed. He also tracked down US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to interview him on how he could support the US Army medical officer Nidal Hasan, who went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood and why he believed Umar Farouk Abdulumutallab, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, was justified to have targeted a “civilian airliner.”
His reporting made him a target the United States wanted to neutralize. According to his lawyer, Abdulrahman Barman, whom I interviewed in May 2012:
[Shaye] is one of those who got all of the information quickly and put it out there for the public. His work actually impacted the Yemeni government and US government in ways where they didn’t want to see it. The Yemeni intelligence were trying to actually recruit Shaye and have him work in the intelligence but he refused. So, after the attack on al-Majalah where so many civilians including women and children were murdered, Abdulelah was beaten up and kidnapped [in June 2010] by the national security agency and he was asked to shut up and be silent and not to talk about these kind of issues.
This did not stop Shaye from practicing journalism.
After he was abducted in July 2010 by Yemeni intelligence agents and went on television to share what had happened to him, US government officials, according to Scahill, began “privately telling major US media outlets that were working with Shaye that they should discontinue their relationships with him. The government alleged he was “using his paychecks to support al Qaeda.”
In August 2010, Barman told Firedoglake Shaye was kidnapped by national security agency people. He was beaten and dragged to “national security cars.” He was held for thirty-five days incommunicado while activists protested his detention in front of intelligence services and judicial system buildings. These agencies claimed they had not detained him, but he discovered his location through a released prisoner, who had seen him one of the cells. This led to the national security agencies transferring him to another location.
Barman eventually was able to be with him during interrogation and he said there was no evidence against him for the terrorism-related charges he faced.
Shaye was held in solitary confinement for a period, denied access to his lawyer, and subjected to psychological torture and abuse and appeared in a cage before a special tribunal on September 22, 2010. The judge read the charges he faced, which included “being the ‘media man’ for al Qaeda, recruiting new operatives for the group and providing al Qaeda with photos of Yemeni bases and foreign embassies for potential targeting.
According to Scahill, when Shaye heard the charges, he reacted, “When they hid murderers of children and women in Abyan, when I revealed the locations and camps of nomads and civilians in Abyan, Shabwah and Arhab when they were going to be hit by cruise missiles, it was on that day they decided to arrest me…You notice in the court how they have turned all of my journalistic contributions into accusations. All of my journalist constributions and quotations to international reporters and news channels have been turned into accusations.” And, as he was dragged off by security, he shouted, “Yemen, this is a place where, when a young journalist becomes successful, he is viewed with suspicion.”
In January 2011, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison and two years of house arrest in his hometown.
Shaye went on hunger strike in November 2011 and support for his release increased. Yemeni activists protested in front of the US embassy and, finally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen at the time, was willing to release him. But he received a phone call from President Obama who opposed his release.
In May of this year, Craig reported that Hadi had confirmed there was “an order from the president to release” Shaye “soon.” However, no details were given on when he would be released.
Craig recounted how the US Ambassador to Sanaa, Gerald Feierstein, had told her, “Haidar Shaye is in jail because he was facilitating al-Qaeda and its planning for attacks on Americans and therefore we have a very direct interest in his case and his imprisonment,” despite the fact that no evidence confirming this allegation had ever been presented.
She highlighted the effect of his imprisonment on Yemeni journalists:
Yemeni journalists have repeatedly expressed their lingering fear over America’s meddling in Shaye’s case. Many became afraid to report on air strikes. One Yemeni journalist, like Shaye a specialist on al-Qaeda, renamed himself an “analyst of Islamic groups” and refused to do TV interviews especially with Al Jazeera after what happened to Shaye.
It had been said by Scahill that Shaye was “rotting away losing his mind in a Yemeni prison.”
What effect his imprisonment will have on him as he resumes life obviously remains to be seen, but one hopes he has not lost his spirit and commitment to journalism and, despite restrictions on traveling outside of Sanaa, will eventually return to doing what he was doing before he was unjustly imprisoned at the behest of the Obama administration.
It takes courage to do what Shaye was doing before he was imprisoned in Yemen. Sadly, when he wound up in prison, US media outlets virtually abandoned him. He had contributed to outlets such as the Washington Post and ABC News but they apparently did not ever find it appropriate to raise their voices to get answers from the administration on why a journalist was being kept in prison.
In solidarity, it is good to see Shaye be freed. Obama owes Shaye an apology and reparations of some kind for depriving him of the years of his life that he spent in prison and could not be with his family or out in the field doing journalism. Unfortunately, as much as the administration may claim to support press freedom, it is pretty much a certainty that there will not be a peep from the Obama administration where they acknowledge it was wrong to keep Shaye jailed.
More on Drones
The Bureau is today publishing a leaked official document that records details of over 300 drone strikes, including their locations and an assessment of how many people died in each incident.
The document is the fullest official record of drone strikes in Pakistan to have yet been published. It provides rare insight into what the government understands about the campaign. ….Read More……..
London’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism released a leaked Pakistani report on Monday that details numerous civilian casualties by drone strikes in the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The document provides crucial new data on civilians casualties of U.S. and NATO strikes in Pakistan.
The 12-page dossier was compiled for the the authorities in the tribal areas, the Bureau notes, and investigates 75 CIA drone strikes and five attacks by NATO in the region conducted between 2006 and 2009. According to the document,
Peace talks between Pakistani authorities and the Taliban (TTP) have been delayed or derailed at least four times since January 2013 because of US drone strikes on high-ranking militants, the Bureau has found.
It is now 43 days since the last reported US drone strike in Pakistan – the longest hiatus in over two years. Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Peshawar-based reporter who is part of the team negotiating with the TTP on behalf of the Pakistani government, confirmed to the Bureau that Islamabad had asked the US for a cessation of drone strikes during the latest round of peace talks, which started today…..Read More……………
Prominent American blogger and computer prodigy Aaron Swartz, who spoke against US President Barack Obama’s “kill list” and cyber attacks against Iran, has been found dead in New York.
March 15, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled today that the Central Intelligence Agency cannot deny its “intelligence interest” in the targeted killing program and refuse to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests about the program while officials continue to make public statements about it.
Syria is being exposed to a foreign conspiracy, in which some Arab mass media have played a role through deliberate incitement and bias,’ said Ghassan Bin Jeddo
To read the associated article follow the link:
The veteran Arab journalist who resigned from Al-Jazeera Satellite TV in protest against its unbalanced media coverage.
Bin Jeddo added, in an interview with the Syrian Al-Dunia Satellite TV, that the aim of the said failing conspiracy was to dismember Syria, weaken its national project and distance it from resistance forces in the region.
The veteran journalist held the so-called opposition in Syria and those who support them responsible for the spilled Syrian blood, asserting that real opposition should never use weapons and violence against the citizens.
Bin Jeddo highly appreciated President Bashar al-Assad’s ongoing reforms which disappointed the conspirators who wanted to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs. Bin Jeddo asserted that his relation with Al-Jazeera is finished because he reached to the point that he couldn’t find himself neither morally, politically nor professionally, asserting that some Satellite TV Channels committed mistakes against Syria not by coincidence, but rather were based on real political decisions to target and harm Syria.
The Veteran Arab Journalist blasted the strategies adopted by some Satellite TV Channels when, for example, quoted eye-witnesses who weren’t present in Syria to eyewitness for the events and who resorted to fabrications and lies.
Head of Al Jazeera TV Station Office in Beirut Ghassan Bin Jeddo resigned from his post a few days ago, as “Al Jazeera has abandoned professionalism and objectivity, turning from a media source into an operation room that incites and mobilizes,” Lebanese As-Safir newspaper reported on Saturday.
Bin Jeddo confirmed this step in an interview with Al Manar website. He pointed out that “the reasons published in As-Safir behind the resignation are true, however they are not the full reasons”, adding that various other issues urged him to take this step that he will talk about its details later.
The Lebanese daily has quoted reliable sources saying that the unprofessional inciting attitude that Al jazeera is adopting at this historic phase in the region is unacceptable.The sources indicated to As-Safir the ethical base of Bin Jeddo’s resignation, as he cannot accept the station’s full coverage to the situation in Libya, Yemen, and Syria, while completely blacking out the crisis in Bahrain.
As for the policy Al jazeera is following on the Syrian situation, the sources clarified that this case is a matter of morals and principles for Bin Jeddo.
As-Safir pointed out that former Al Jazeera journalist supports the Syrian people’s demands; however, he recognizes the important national role that Syria plays in the region.
The Popular Movements that spread blood and violence in the Middle East and in the Northern of Africa in the last few months have given us a new direction in our World Politics of Control. We seen that dictators supported for decades by the Imperialist Powers of the US and the Club of the UN were puppets with guns, but the Real Power reside not in the castles that house these characters or the elaborated and richly adorned mansions of the puppets, the REAL POWER is in the People.
We saw the POPULAR MOVEMENT raising up from a REVOLTS to a Real REVOLUTION, from the people to the people. The armies of stooges (soldiers, police forces) were overwhelmed by the fierce resolve of the people that tired of oppression, repression, control and starvation broke the silence and took to the streets not minding any more for their security. Once the Fear was contemplated as a control tool and overcome, the next stage was easy, the joy of the Unity that was felt in the streets spread from neighborhoods to Cities to Countries.
We all the makers of the stories, the writers, the photographers, the witnesses and victims of the Revolutions did not needed the CORPORATE MEDIA to give us the NEWS, we saw the stories developed on front of us and we all share it as a personal message, as a comment, as an article, it did not matter the media we used we knew we were Sharing the Truth.
Some of the Revolts, Uprisings and Revolutions that we witnessed were manipulated by the Evil tentacles of the Central Governments of the Regions that took part in the making of these changing times.
Lies in a Wire
Images aired Danmark’s Radio, and allegedly documenting tortured Syrian demonstrators were false.
The images are from Iraq, and are several years old. Danmark’s Radio’s news program the 9 o’clock evening news May 16, aired ‘shocking images’ of Syrian demonstrators, who were being tortured by Syrian Government militias.
We heard rumors of paid mafia, mercenaries from Africa, Islamic Jidadists, we were not sure of none of them, only the actors were sure of their role, but something that we were sure was of the Propaganda machine that we know is well used to shape ideas, to twist truths, to instill terror, to label humans, the Corporate Media that has always played a central role in Any story that you see coming from the Box, and now an insider of one of the leading Arab News Outlets tells the world the machinations and lies spread in his own network, but seems that we still have honest writers even if they work inside the propaganda machine.
Regrettably the images were wrong. They are not from Syria, they are from Iraq. This is a regrettable mistake, says Thomas Falbe. The mistake will be rectified in the 21:00 hours news tonight
How DR could believe that these old pictures from Iraq were pictures from Syria?
Thomas Falbe: ‘We did what we could to verify the footage and received them from a source we trust’.
According to Thomas Falbe the mistake will have no consequences for anybody.
How an Editor in Chief of a Public Network can say so shamelessly that publishing lies has not consequences, I search the news and compare Quotes, accusations, reversals, publications and I make an opinion of the diverse sources that I research, but Sadly for the world, majority of People read the first News that is serve in their Box and they make their opinion based on that, and as I just pointed out in this article two big networks exposed on the same topic, Syria, caught red handed but what about the countless others news that are Spread as the Truth, and no one care to explore the other side of the story? We the public had been deceived for many years regarding many issues that matters to us. Take this two examples that were exposed at time, and next time that you want to make a point and argue, and maybe writing a blog about it, do not use the first article that you read, do not take the first conversation as truth, please there are many options in this modern times to find the Truth.
Head of Al Jazeera TV Station Office in Beirut Ghassan Bin Jeddo resigned from his post a few days ago, as “Al Jazeera has abandoned professionalism and objectivity, turning from a media source into an operation room that incites and mobilizes,”
At the end of the story even the most credible and best articulated story needs to be filter by you, at the end you are the Opinion MakerOpinion Maker, never believe one source, research deep in the Web. Now days you have better chances to capture the True Story in the blogers mind, and the facebook spaces, we do not serve interest of any kind. We do it for Truth Justice and to achieve peace on Earth. Akashma
We have seen the power of the media shaping our realities, like artisans their Propaganda Machine craft the lies so well with the truth that sometimes you can not really see the story behind. We have had for more than 63 years how the written word and the images on TV gave you the Wrong Idea of Palestine. Only now that we have the social networks and armies of bloggers writing, sharing us the truth is that we know that we were lied, that Palestinians are not “Islamist Terrorists” , Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians or any other human being that has been struggling for justice are just that Humans that humanity was obscure by the Propaganda machine of the TV News.
Now that we know, we have the obligation to help us all, we have the responsibility to the others the ones that still can not see, we all need to give them guidance, good sources, information leading to the truth. My human fellows we can do it if like Vittorio Arrigoni says in his writings Stay Human.
The honest writers that strive to achieve peace in this world, that uncover the lies, they have to make sacrifices, like Vittorio Arrigoni that he needed to see for himself the crude reality of Gaza, how other way he could have giving us the horrors that Israel inflict in the Population of Gaza, only becoming witness and victim gave Vik the tools to give us the truth. Stay Human was his motto, is the only way to see the truth, to feel the pain of others, if we keep our humanity intact.
Other writers like Bin Jeddo that was forced to give up a well paid job to maintain his integrity as a writer and in the way exposing Aljazeera TV News that for so long was trying to stay afloat to be different from the rest, but at the end succumbed to the money that support the web of journalists, reporters around the world. It is hard to maintain the neutrality when the hand that pays your salary has interest vested in the ‘OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY”, we all try to stay neutral give you unbiased news, but it is our Opinion, be your own Opinion Maker and help us all to shape a better world.
Love be with you and around you