Abdulelah Haider Shaye
Abdulelah Haider Shaye or Abd al-Ilah Haydar Al-Sha’i (born c. 1977) is a prominent Yemeni journalist who has gained notoriety for his reporting of the December 17, 2009 al-Majalah bombing in Yemen, his interviews with al-Qaeda leaders, and the controversial nature of his arrest and imprisonment in 2011. He has used his relation through marriage with radical Islamic cleric Abdul Majeed al-Zindani to help him gain interview access to Al Qaeda leaders, including the late Yemeni-American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. In 2013, he won a coveted Alkarama Human Rights Defenders award in Geneva for his work in exposing the reality of the US-led drone war in his country.
Reporting on al-Majalah bombing
After the al-Majalah bombing, he reported that the site of the bombing was littered with remnants of U.S. Tomahawk missile and cluster munitions, contradicting claims by the government of Yemen that the bombing was their own. This fact—that the U.S. had been responsible rather than the Yemeni air force—was evaded by U.S. Pentagon officials but later confirmed by Amnesty International, The Telegraph newspaper, and a release of secret materials by Wikileaks. He also reported that 21 children and 14 women had been killed in the bombing.
On August 16, 2010, Shaye was arrested by the Yemeni government. After 34 days of confinement, he was convicted of "terrorism-related charges" in a trial regarded by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists, and the International Federation of Journalists as a sham trial and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. After a public outcry from tribal leaders in Yemen over Shaye's imprisonment, Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was prepared to release Shaye, but he was swayed otherwise by a call from U.S. President Barack Obama on February 2, 2011 citing his "concern" over Shaye's imminent release.
Journalist Jeremy Scahill reports that, according to his sources in Yemen, Saleh rescinded his pardon primarily due to the call from President Obama. Scahill suggests that Yemen's counter-terrorism funding from the United States may have motivated Saleh's cooperation.
On July 23, 2013, Shaye was released from prison to serve out the remaining 2 years of his 5-year sentence under house arrest.
- Dirty Wars a 2013 American documentary
- Tennant, Michael (2012-03-16). "How — and Why — Obama Kept a Jailed Yemeni Journalist From Being Pardoned". The New American. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Chulov, Marti (6 December 2013). "Jailed Yemeni journalist receives Human Rights Defenders award". theguardian.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Tisdall, Simon (29 December 2009). "Obama takes 'war on terror' to Yemen". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "Images of missile and cluster munitions point to US role in fatal attack in Yemen". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Spencer, Richard (7 June 2010). "US cluster bombs 'killed 35 women and children'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "WikiLeaks: U.S. bombs Yemen in secret". salon.com. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Scahill, Jeremey (13 March 2012). "Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?". The Nation. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Jeremy Scahill: Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in Prison?". democracynow.org. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Tapper, Jake (16 March 2012). "White House Stands By Obama Push for Yemeni Journalist to Remain Behind Bars". ABC News. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Readout of President's Call with President Saleh of Yemen". The White House. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Scahill, Jeremey; Marco Werman; Joyce Hackel (6 April 2012). "Prominent Yemeni Journalist Lands in Jail; US Wants him to Stay There". The World. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Abdul Ilah Haydar Shae is freed". Yemen Post. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
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