Abdulelah Haider Shaye, Yemeni Journalist, Freed From Prison

Journalist Kept In Prison At Obama's Request Now Free

Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a Yemeni journalist, is free from the prison where he has been held for the past three years.

Reporter Jeremy Scahill tweeted the news on Tuesday, adding, "According to Shaye's lawyer, he is not allowed to leave Sana'a for 2 years after which time his case will be reviewed." Shaye was arrested by the Yemeni government in 2010 under allegations of being an ally to Al Qaeda.

His imprisonment has been blamed on President Obama, who personally intervened in early 2011 when it seemed that then-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was going to pardon Shaye. Obama called Saleh to express concern about Shaye, who remained in prison.

Shaye had access to Al Qaeda officials, but was trusted by the Washington Post, ABC News, the New York Times and other media outlets to which he contributed. His arrest came several months after he reported that the U.S. was responsible for a missile strike that the Yemeni government claimed it carried out.

News of his release will surely come as a relief to human rights organizations that have condemned his imprisonment, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

CORRECTION: Shaye was arrested in 2010, not 2011 as originally stated in this article, and had been in prison for almost three years.

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