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Tuesday Papers

Khalid al-Hammadi writes about violations of press freedoms in al-Quds al-Arabi, which goes well with this report from the National on a proposed new press law in Yemen.

Of course Minister of the Interior al-Masri’s supposed remarks that there is no al-Qaeda presence in the country is getting a lot of play. I don’t believe that is what he meant, I think he was just talking about a list of 4,000 was indicating that there was no al-Qaeda presence on that list but rather that they were all petty criminals.

(CAUTION:) Mareb Press is reporting that Muhammad al-‘Awfi, one of the former Guantanamo detainees, who traveled from Saudi to Yemen and showed up in a video back in January has turned himself into authorities. As Henry pointed out in the comments yesterday, some guys tend to show up over and over. Initially it was reported that Qasim al-Raymi was killed in August 2007, then he was supposedly killed months later, but he is of course still around. My hunch is that this story will be modified in the coming days. There were reports that some Saudis were captured, which if al-‘Awfi was one of the ones captured then it would be big news, but we’ll have to wait for some sort of confirmation.

The news continues to be bad out of Abyan, today the head of the court had his car stolen from in front of his house in Ja’ar, which has long been a producer of militants, many of whom fought in Iraq.

For those interested in a bit of history of the Imamate, News Yemen conveniently reposts this item about the assassination of Imam Yahya in 1948, although for some reason they include the picture of Imam Ahmad, his son. I think I remember reading that while no photographs of Yahya exist, there is a sketch done by the American Anthropologist Carleton Coon, who also enjoyed measuring heads.

Update: More and more news outlets are reporting the capture of Muhammad al-‘Awfi, one of the relapsed Guantanamo detainees.

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