Beth blogged recently about Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, a Yemeni journalist who is currently facing sentencing for criticizing the government there and writing stories that the government didn’t approve. He faces a possible death sentence. She also told the story of Jane Novak, an American Blogger making a difference in the lives of Yemeni people by bringing world attention to the struggles of the people of Yemen and the rampant corruption in the government there.

Novak, profiled previously in the CRIME Report, was the subject of a recent New York Times article for her activism on behalf of al-Khaiwani. That profile, along with a statement by the AIC criticizing Yemen for being “lax on terrorists and brutal with journalists,” caused Yemeni officials to delay sentencing in al-Khaiwani’s case until June 9.

Now, Amnesty International UK has shortlisted al-Khaiwani and an Azerbaijani journalist for its 2008 ‘Special Award For Human Rights Journalism Under Threat’, part of the organization’s annual media awards.

Amnesty International UK Media Director Mike Blakemore said:

‘Every year Amnesty makes an award to a journalist somewhere in the world whose human rights journalism has placed them at risk.

‘Sadly journalism is an extremely perilous profession in many parts of the world and Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani and Aqil Xalil are just two of the at-risk journalists we could have chosen.

‘However, by drawing attention to their cases we are calling upon the relevant authorities to ensure their safety, protect their rights to free expression and free movement, while also sending out the message that no journalist anywhere in the world should be attacked or imprisoned simply for doing their job.’

Now with Amnesty International on board, an unprecedented international coalition is rallying to protect Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani. In addition to the above mentioned New York Times article, the BBC, al-Arabiya, and many noteable blogs across the ‘sphere have written on al-Khaiwani’s behalf. It has been reported, that over 1,200 letters have been sent to Yemeni officials, with demands from members of Congress to drop all charges against al-Khaiwani.

If you have not already, do your part. You can still help by signing the letter to the Yemen government asking them to respect democracy and spare the life of Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani.

UPDATE: Jane Novak, our blogging goddess friend and activist for Yemeni democracy, will be on “Fox and Friends” this Friday 6/6/08 at 6:45 am (scheduled). She’s famous now people!