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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05SANAA1233 2005-05-09 07:59:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

REQUEST FOR MEDIA LAW SPEAKER TO WORK WITH YEMENI

Tags:   YM KPAO OIIP 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 001233 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IIP/G/NEA-SA, NEA/PI; ABU DHABI FOR PAO, MEPI RO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: YM KPAO OIIP
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR MEDIA LAW SPEAKER TO WORK WITH YEMENI
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, JOURNALISTS AND CIVIL SOCIETY REGARDING A
NEW PRESS LAW

REF: STATE 261067

SUMMARY: POST REQUESTS A MEDIA LAW SPEAKER TO WORK WITH YEMENI
STAKEHOLDERS WITH REGARD TO THE DRAFTING OF A NEW PRINTED PRESS
LAW. UNDER THE EXISTING LAW, JOURNALISTS HAVE BEEN IMPRISONED AND
NEWSPAPERS SHUT DOWN FOR THE EXPRESSION OF THEIR VIEWS. CIVIL
SOCIETY, JOURNALISTS, AND EVEN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAVE ASKED FOR
A NEW LAW. A DRAFT WAS QUICKLY DRAWN UP WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT
WITHOUT EXTERNAL INPUT. AMONG THE OUTRAGE FROM JOURNALISTS AND
CIVIL SOCIETY, THE YEMENI GOVERNMENT HAS ASKED FOR ASSISTANCE FROM
THE U.S. TO HELP FORGE A FAIR LAW IN A TRANSPARENT MANNER WITH
PARTICIPATION FROM ALL ELEMENTS OF SOCIETY. END SUMMARY.



1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION. SPEAKER WILL WORK WITH GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS FROM THE MINISTRIES OF INFORMATION AND PLANNING AND
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, WITH THE YEMENI JOURNALIST SYNDICATE,
AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS REGARDING THE DRAFT OF A NEW,
PROPOSED PRESS LAW.



2. TIME FRAME. BECAUSE THE PROCESS OF DRAFTING THE LAW HAS
ALREADY BEGUN, POST WOULD APPRECIATE A SPEAKER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
FOR A MINIMUM OF FIVE PROGRAM DAYS, BEGINNING ON A SATURDAY (THE
NORMAL WORK WEEK IN YEMEN IS SATURDAY TO WEDNESDAY. POST CAN
ACCOMMODATE UP TO TEN PROGRAM DAYS, IF SPEAKER IS AVAILABLE.



3. PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM. 2004 WAS A DIFFICULT YEAR FOR THE
YEMENI PRESS. SEVERAL JOURNALISTS WERE IMPRISONED AND SOME
NEWSPAPERS WERE CLOSED DOWN BECAUSE OF ALLEDGED VIOLATIONS OF THE
CURRENT PRINTED PRESS LAW. THERE HAS BEEN A CALL FROM CIVIL
SOCIETY AND YEMENI JOURNALISTS TO MAKE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES TO THE
LAW TO ENSURE RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN THE PRESS. THE
GOVERNMENT RESPONDED BY DRAFTING NEW LEGISLATION, BUT THE DRAFT
BEING CONSIDERED IS LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN THE EXISTING LAW. POST
HAS BEEN ASKED BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION TO HELP DEVELOP A
FAIR LAW IN A TRANSPARENT MANNER. HE HAS ALSO ASKED US TO PROVIDE
CASE LAW EXAMPLES FROM THE U.S. (SINCE THE U.S. HAS NO PRESS LAW)
AND PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE IN DRAFTING THE NEW LAW. WORKING WITH
THE GOVERNMENT, PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS (YEMENI JOURNALIST
SYNDICATE) AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS WILL HELP ENSURE THE
TRANSPARENT DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE, FAIR PRESS LAW FOR
YEMEN. THE SPEAKER WILL BE EXPECTED TO CONSULT SEPARATELY AND
JOINTLY WITH THE STAKEHOLDERS. POST WILL ALSO PROGRAM A PUBLIC
FORUM IN WHICH CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS WILL PARTICIPATE. THE
SPEAKER'S VISIT WILL LIKELY GARNER CONSIDERABLE PRESS ATTENTION,
FURTHERING U.S. FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES IN THE COUNTRY AND
REGION. SPEAKER PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCESS WILL ADDRESS MAJOR
AREAS OF POST'S MPP, INCLUDING "DEMOCRATIC SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES"
AND "MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING".



4. AUDIENCE(S). WITH THE COOPERATION OF THE MINISTRY OF PLANNING
AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (MOPIC), SPEAKER WILL BE WORKING
DIRECTLY WITH THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, HUSSEIN AL-AWADI, AND
HIS LEGAL AND TECHNICAL STAFF. SPEAKER WILL ALSO BE WORKING
DIRECTLY WITH THE HEAD OF THE YEMENI JOURNALIST SYNDICATE, MAHBOOB
ALI, AND TECHNICAL STAFF MEMBERS ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE AN
ALTERNATIVE TO THE EXISTING PRESS LAW.



5. PROPOSED TOPICS AND NATURE OF EVENTS (E.G. LECTURE,
WORKSHOP, ONE-ON-ONE MEETING, ETC.). SPECIFIC LOCATIONS ARE TO BE
DETERMINED, BUT CONSULTATIONS WILL LIKELY TAKE PLACE WITHIN THE
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, AT THE OFFICES OF THE YEMENI JOURNALISTS
SYNDICATE, AND AT A PUBLIC FORUM IN SANA'A. TIME PERMITTING, POST
WOULD LIKE TO PROGRAM LECTURES AT MAJOR YEMENI UNIVERSITIES IN AT
LEAST SANA'A AND ADEN.



6. TYPE OR NAME OF SPECIALIST REQUIRED (E.G. ACADEMIC,
JOURNALIST, ECONOMIST, ETC.). POST REQUESTS SOMEONE WELL VERSED
IN U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA LAW AND WHO IS COMFORTABLE WORKING
WITH HIGH-LEVEL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.



7. LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS. ARABIC LANGUAGE IS DESIRED, BUT POST
WILL PROVIDE INTERPRETOR FOR ALL MEETINGS AND TRANSLATION AS
NEEDED. POST WOULD APPRECIATE ADVANCE COPIES OF WORKING PAPERS FOR
TRANSLATION.



8. REQUESTS FOR SUPPORTING BIBLIOGRAPHIC MATERIALS. TO BE
DETERMINED.



9. POST CONTACT INFORMATION.

MISSION PROGRAM OFFICER:
TIMOTHY J. FINGARSON, APAO
OFFICE TELEPHONE: +967 1 755-2262
OFFICE FAX: +967 1 755-2282
MOBILE: +967 7322-8058

BACK UP PROGRAM OFFICER
FARIS ASAD, POLITICAL OFFICER
OFFICE TELEPHONE: +967 1 755-2398
OFFICE FAX: +967 1 755-2282
MOBILE: 7321-7224

RESPONSIBLE FSN:
MOHAMED AL-HIMYARI, CULTURAL AFFAIRS ASSISTANT
OFFICE NUMBER: +967 1 755-2454
OFFICE FAX: +967 1 755-2282
MOBILE: +967 7344-4934



10. FUNDING. POST PLANS TO USE I-BUCKS FOR FUNDING. FOR A FIVE-
DAY PROGRAM, ALL ACTIVITIES WILL TAKE PLACE IN SANA'A. SHOULD
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM DAYS BE AVAILABLE, UNIVERSITY VISITS WILL BE
PLANNED FOR ADEN AND POSSIBLY TAIZ.



11. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. TO BE DETERMINED.

KRAJESKI