Also blocked were opposition and independent news Web sites such as the news aggregator Yemen Portal ( Shabwah Press ( and al-Hadath (
Some forums which contain political and social discussion were also blocked (
A local rights group described the action as “a clear restriction of liberties and rights of citizens and business.”32 Some Internet café owners use computer monitoring software to monitor the online activities of their customers.
A café operator said, "Through a program I can closely find what my customers are browsing.
Net service which contravenes any applicable Law of the Republic of Yemen.”20 Yemen’s Press and Publications Law, passed in 1990, subjects publications and broadcast media to broad prohibitions and harsh penalties.21 This law theoretically establishes a press that “shall be independent and shall have full freedom to practice its vocation,” but it must operate “within the context of Islamic creed, within the basic principles of the Constitution, goals of the Yemeni Revolution, and the aim of solidifying national unity.”22 The Press and Publications Law further states that local journalists must be Yemeni citizens and must obtain Press Cards from the Ministry of Information.
Foreign journalists must be accredited to receive Press Cards, and such cards can be revoked by the Ministry of Information at the Ministry’s discretion.
Examples include the Web site of the Yemeni Socialist Party ( and the Web sites of the political groups al-Shora and al-Ommah (
In March 2008, ONI verified reports that the Web site of Maktoob Blog (maktoobblog.com) was inaccessible in Yemen.
By blocking the entire domain of Maktoob Blog, Internet users in Yemen were prevented from access one of the biggest blogging communities in the Middle East and North Africa. Interestingly, political filtering in Yemen is not transparent; users who attempt to access banned political content receive error messages instead of the standard block page served when users attempt to access banned sex content.
Note: a previous version of this profile, in both English and Arabic, is available at Yemen, 2006-2007.
The modern Republic of Yemen was established in 1990 when traditionalist North Yemen and Marxist South Yemen merged.