Press freedom did not improve in 2005. Two opposition newspapers were fined and suspended for supposed libel and four journalists were banned from working from between six months and a year. Many other journalists were arrested, physically attacked or threatened for investigating corruption or sensitive matters involving President Ali Abdallah Saleh or his associates.
Freelance Nabil Sabaie was attacked and stabbed by armed men in a main street of the capital in broad daylight. Khaled el Hammadi, correspondent for the London-based paper Al-Quds el Arabi, was beaten by soldiers and held for more than 30 hours after he investigated the crash of several military planes. Jamal Amer, editor of the independent weekly Al-Wassat, was kidnapped and beaten by armed men driving a vehicle belonging to the presidential guard.
The national journalists’ union several times voiced concern about these attacks on press freedom. Its secretary-general, Hafez el-Bukari, resigned on 27 November in protest against the government and political parties he said were trying to marginalise the union.