Unacceptable: Obama Keeping Reporter in Prison in Yemen

July 23, 2013: Shaye has been freed!  Thank you to everyone who helped!

On December 17, 2009, U.S. Tomahawk missiles and incendiary cluster bombs rained down on the tiny Yemeni village of al Majala, killing 21 children, 14 women, and 6 men, and burning all the homes and their contents. The government of Yemen falsely claimed responsibility.  Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye disproved that claim.

While the U.S. government was searching for U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki to kill him, Shaye repeatedly tracked him down and interviewed him.  These were tough and serious interviews, with Shaye asking Awlaki how he could possibly support acts of violence.  Awlaki's image was not helped.

On February 2, 2011, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, under public pressure, had drawn up, printed out, and was prepared to sign a pardon of Shaye, imprisoned on trumped-up charges.  But Saleh received a phone call from President Barack Obama, who opposed release of the journalist.  Saleh ripped up the pardon.

Americans will learn Shaye's story in the film version of Dirty Wars, which opens in U.S. theaters on June 7. 
Let's seize this moment to tell President Obama and the Yemeni government that a journalist should not be locked up for doing his job.

Flyer to hand out at Dirty Wars or anywhere: PDF.


Dirty Wars, the Book
Dirty Wars, the Film (opens June 7!)
Jeremy Scahill: Why Is Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison?
Iona Craig: Will Obama keep Yemeni Journalist in Jail?
Letter from Abdulelah Haider Shaye
White House: President's Call With President Saleh

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1-25 of 18582 signatures
Number Date Name Location Feel free to add a comment:
18582 2 weeks ago K Lucas Westminsrter, CA , US
18581 2 months ago Susan Hicks Lafayette, IN , US
18580 2 months ago Greg Christiansen Las Vegas, NV , FR
18579 2 months ago Anonymous Dunedin, FL , US President Obama is the ultimate disappointment. Putting it mildly. I'm sorry I supported him. I fell for the line about change. The man may be worse than Dubya. Unlike his predecessor, he was bor...
18578 3 months ago Jay Vernon I also believe in a journalism that shines the light of day on the corruption of government.
18577 4 months ago Sue Frink Mount Shasta, CA , US
18576 4 months ago Mike Wagenblast Cosmopolis, WA , US I believe in a journalism that shines the light of day on the corruption of government.
18575 5 months ago roxie harrington holmen, WI , United States
18574 5 months ago Dianna French cape Coral, FL , US
18573 6 months ago Carlos Echevarria Inglewood, CA , US
18572 6 months ago Steven Kranowski Blacksburg, VA , US
18571 6 months ago Luciana Bonati East Stroudsburg, PA , US
18570 6 months ago Barbara Zilles Iowa City, IA , US
18569 6 months ago Brittany Wilkins Tarboro, NC , US
18568 7 months ago Shauna Haines Berkeley, CA , US
18567 7 months ago jonah freedman brooklyn, NY , US
18566 7 months ago Craig Owen PawPaw, MI , US
18565 7 months ago Ian Brown Cheadle, ot , GB
18564 7 months ago Anonymous CA , US
18563 7 months ago Roger Harkness Oklahoma City, OK , US
18562 7 months ago Jeff Hopkins Lindenhurst, IL , US
18561 8 months ago Kelly Roberts Las Vegas, NV , US
18560 8 months ago Rene Pugh Downingtown, PA , US
18559 8 months ago Anonymous Addison, TX , US
18558 8 months ago Wayne Doucette Everett, WA , US
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