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Watchdog demands release of Yemeni journalist 'detained for criticising UAE'

Awad Kashmeem was detained in Mukalla after criticising the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 February, 2018

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The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged the release of Yemeni journalist Awad Kashmeem after he was detained for criticising the UAE's role in the war-torn country.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged the release of Yemeni journalist detained after he criticised local forces in southern Yemen, trained and funded by the United Arab Emirates.

CPJ said on Monday that Awad Kashmeem was detained last Wednesday in the coastal city of Mukalla in southern Yemen's Hadramawt province and is being held at the military intelligence headquarters there.

Kashmeem criticised local UAE-backed forces and said they had waged a fake campaign against al-Qaeda.

CPJ's Mideast coordinator Sherif Mansour said that "Kashmeem's arbitrary detention shows that there is truly no safe space for journalists in Yemen."

Kashmeem had posted on Facebook that the UAE-trained troops "are talking about war, battles, deployment of troops, etc but there is not death or injury of soldiers," in the alleged fighting.

The UAE’s increasing role in southern Yemen is causing concern among Yemeni civilians and officials.

A Yemeni minister earlier this week accused the United Arab Emirates of trying to fragment the country by creating separate "regional and tribal armies" in the south.

Saleh al-Jabwani attacked the UAE on Sunday in a press conference after Emirati-backed troops cut off his convoy and warned that his government could break off ties with Abu Dhabi.

"The situation in the south is very bad, there are tribal armies and gangs set-up the UAE," the transport minister said.

"The state will not allow this situation to continue. We must correct the situation and have the UAE be an ally of the government only or else we will make a political decision that this partnership has taken the wrong course," Jabwani said.

There were reports in August last year that the UAE had even banned Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi from entering southern port city of Aden.

Hadi, who was due to fly from Riyadh to Aden did not board his flight because "there were specific instructions from the UAE government banning from entering his home-city Aden," sources said. 

Agencies contributed to this report

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