Yemen | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Libel is a criminal offense punishable by fines, flogging, and up to five years in prison for ambiguous acts such as "humiliating the State" or publishing "false information." Extralegal government harassment has diminished; however, detentions, harassment, and intimidation continue to restrict press freedom. Foreign journalists were also subjected to intimidation through frequent government interrogations of journalists reporting on the national military and other sensitive topics. The government closed down at least three publications after they published articles that were critical of the state or neighboring countries, or for reporting on state security matters. Regulations stipulate that newspapers must apply annually to renew licenses to operate, which some critics claim is aimed at putting some opposition newspapers out of business. The government controls most of the printing presses, with only one newspaper having its own press. The government also provides subsidies to certain newspapers that are privately owned.