Yemen president shuts down local TV channel over coverage of protest

Yemen President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi made a brazen move on June 11 when his forces stormed studio of al-Yemen al-Youm TV channel and confiscated all equipment, shutting down its  coverage.

Al-Yemen al-Youm, one of the most popular local TV channels owned by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, has been covering popular outrage over acute fuel, electricity and water shortage in the capital and across the country. The channel capitalized on the public outrage of Hadi government inability to deliver basic services to attract more supporters for the next race for presidency, in which Saleh’s party still maintains a considerable amount of loyalty in Yemen.

The state run daily al-Thawra ran a brief statement about the closedown.

“The channel was shutdown yesterday [June 11] after it had crossed all red lines, and become a destructive tool that opposes the will of the Yemeni people for change and building a modern civil state based on equality, justice, democracy and good governance,” said the statement published in the last page of Thursday issue, June 12, 2014. It also said the channel didn’t  have a license.

Al-Yemen al-Youm posted on its YouTube channel a six-minute footage showing Hadi’s presidential guards taking equipment and furniture from the channel studio.

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