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Opposition editor found beaten hours after kidnapping

Opposition editor found beaten hours after kidnapping

A Yemeni opposition editor who was accused of backing the country's Shiite rebels and recently spent a month in jail, was found badly beaten and bruised on Monday, just hours after a Yemeni journalists union reported him kidnapped.
Abdul Karim al-Khawinay, editor of the Al-Shura weekly, was found by villagers in the mountainous Al-Khawlan area some 30 kilometers (19 miles) southeast the capital, and taken to a hospital in San'a. His T-shirt was bloodied and his arm broken.
Earlier, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate said, citing eyewitnesses, said al-Khawinay was abducted on the street Monday by about 7 people who jumped out of a land cruiser with covered car plates and took him away.
The union had said that it is contacting the interior ministry to demand a swift investigation and the arrest of al-Khawinay's kidnappers. An official with the interior ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give statements to media, said the ministry had no knowledge of al-Khawinay's kidnapping.
Al-Khawinay was taken by police to jail June 20. At the time, his family said that security forces stormed their home, beat up al-Khawinay with fists and gun-butts, then dragged him bleeding from the ear and nose to the police station. He was released a month later.
He is currently on trial on charges of insulting the regime and supporting Shiite rebels.
Later Monday from his hospital bed, al-Khawinay, 38, who also suffers from heart problems, told The Associated Press that one of the kidnappers was among officers who stormed his house in June and took him to prison.
He also said that his kidnappers discussed whether to cut or just break the hand he writes with, and opted for the latter.
Later, police arrived at the hospital to question him.
Previously, al-Khawinay was sentenced to one year in jail for supporting the country's minority Shiite rebels and defaming the president, but was later pardoned by President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The weekly Al-Shura, considered a mouthpiece of the opposition United Popular Forces Party, has long campaigned against the government, accusing it of favoritism and nepotism in almost all state institutions.
Mohammed Al-Maqaleh, media spokesman in the Socialist Party, said Saleh was personally responsible for al-Khawinay's safety.
Yemen, a poor tribal Sunni country at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula and a declared U.S. supporter in the campaign against terrorism, has struggled with a three-year long insurgency by followers of Shiite rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi. The uprising claimed thousands of lives from both sides and forced thousands from their villages in the northern Saada province before ending with a truce earlier this year.
At least 100 journalists in Yemen have faced various forms of harassment since 2005, ranging from beatings and arrests to kidnappings and a letter-bombing that wounded a newspaper editor, according to Yemen's Center of Training and Press Freedoms Protection, a non-governmental watchdog.


Updated : 2020-12-01 23:07 GMT+08:00