22 December, 1990
Section One: Definitions
and General Principles
Article 1: This law shall be known as the
Press and Publications Law.
Article 2: For the purposes of the application of
this law the words set out below shall bear the meanings appearing opposite them, provided
it is not specified otherwise.
JOURNALISM: The profession of seeking facts, information
and news, collecting them and writing or translating articles, columns, investigations and
analyses and preparing programs and commentaries, drawing of cartoons, photography, press
publication and the review and writing of headlines via the written, audio and visual
NEWSPAPER: Any journal or magazine which appears regularly
under a single name at specified intervals for the purpose of public circulation.
JOURNALIST: A person who practises the profession of
journalism written, audio or visual, or at a Yemeni news agency or a foreign news
agency operating in Yemen as his/her principal means of livelihood.
NEWS AGENCY: An institution of the press which monitors
and seeks news, prepares news reports, produces written., audio and visual investigations
and analyses and distributes them by various means.
PRINTING PRESS: Any machine or group of machines or
equipment intended for the printing or recording of words, drawings or pictures for
publication or circulation. This does not include equipment for photography, normal
typewriters or the machinery used for the photocopying of documents and papers.
PUBLISHING HOUSE: Anyone who prepares and puts together
printed material for printing, publication and sale.
PUBLISHER: Any individual or company who publishes any
printed material on which his/her name must be recorded.
DISTRIBUTOR: Any individual or company who takes it as
his/her profession to trade in the sale and distribution of newspapers and printed
material and to offer it for circulation.
PRINTED MATERIAL: All writings, drawings, audio and visual
tape recordings, pieces of music and photographs when carried by modern scientific or
technical means or otherwise transmitted and suitable for circulation..
PUBLIC CIRCULATION: The offer of newspapers, magazines and
printed material for sale or distribution or its display on shop fronts or any other
activity which in any way places it before the public.
BOOKSHOP: Premises intended for the display and sale of
NATIONAL LIBRARY: Premises for the storage of historical
books and manuscripts. It also acts as the repository for printed material whether issued
regularly or irregularly..
DEPOSITION: Preservation and recording of printed material
at the repository.
Article 3: Freedom of knowledge, thought, the
press, expression, communication and access to information are rights of the citizen which
enable him/her to express his/her thoughts orally, in writing or in pictorial or in
drawing form or by any other means of expression. These rights are guaranteed to every
citizen by the Constitution and by the provisions of this law.
Article 4: The press shall be independent and shall
have full freedom to practise its vocation. It shall serve society, form public opinion
and express its different outlooks within the context of Islamic creed, within the basic
principles of the Constitution, and the goals of the Yemeni Revolution and the aim of
solidifying of national unity: No obstacles may be placed in the way of its activities
except in accordance with the provisions of this law.
Article 5: The press shall be free to print what it
pleases and to gather news and information from their sources. It shall be responsible
before the law for what it prints.
Article 6: The law assures the protection of
journalists and authors, and it provides the legal guarantees necessary for them to the
practise their profession, to enjoy freedom of expression and immunity from interference
so long as they do not contravene the provisions of this law.
Section Two: Terms of Work
of Yemeni and Foreign Journalists
PART ONE: CONDITIONS OF WORKING IN JOURNALISM
Article 7: Any person working as a journalist
a) be a Yemeni national,
b) be at least 21 years old,
c) enjoy full citizens rights,
d) not have been found guilty by a court of an offence
against honour and integrity unless his/her reputation has been restored in accordance
with the law,
e) be the holder of a qualification from a college or
institute or have journalistic experience of not less than three years,
f) work effectively and continuously in journalism.
Article 8: In addition to fulfilling the conditions
set out in Article 7, a chief editor shall:
a) not work for a foreign state,
b) be at least 25 years old,
c) have perfect knowledge of the language in which the
newspaper is published,
d) have experience and knowledge of journalism not less
than five years for holders of qualifications in journalism, and eight years for others,
e) have to work in this job full-time.
Article 9: A journalist shall lose his journalist
status if he/she:
a) ceases to fulfil any one of the conditions set out in
Article 7 of this law,
b) is dismissed in accordance with the law for an offence
which brings disrepute to the profession,
c) leaves the profession voluntarily to take up work
Article 10: The Ministry of information. shall
issue Press Facility Cards. In addition to the conditions set out in Article 7 of this
law, recipients shall:
a) have a degree from a college of journalism or
information or from a higher institute of journalism or information and not less than one
years experience in journalism, or
b) have a degree from a college or institute and not less
than two years experience in journalism, or
c) have the general secondary school graduation
certificate or its equivalent and at least five years experience in journalism, or
d) have sufficient experience in journalism of at least 10
e) the design of the Press Card, the data on it and the
rules for issue, renewal, withdrawal and cancellation shall be laid down by the Ministry
Article 11: Holders of Press Cards shall enjoy all
the facilities and privileges provided by the authorities to journalists in accordance
with a decision of the Cabinet.
Article 12: Subject to the provisions of Article 10
of this law, applications for the issue of a Press Card shall be made to the Ministry of
Information supported by the necessary documents. If a justified refusal is given or no
answer has been received within 30 days, the applicant has the right to appeal to the
courts within 30 days of receipt of the refusal or of the passage of thirty days since the
application with no response.
PART TWO: RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF JOURNALISTS
Article 13: A journalist may not be interrogated on
opinions which he has expressed or published, and which may not be used to inflict harm on
him/her provided what he/she published is not contrary to the law.
Article 14: A journalist has the right to obtain
information, news, data and statistics from their sources and to publish or not publish
them. He has the right to preserve the confidentiality of his/her sources he/she can not
be forced to disclose in accordance with the provisions of this law.
Article 15: A journalist has the right to refuse to
prepare or to write press material which is in conflict with his/her beliefs or views or
offends his conscience as a journalist. He has the right to comment as he/she sees fit
within the provisions and principles of the Constitution in order to explain his/her
opinions and express his/her point of view regardless of differences in opinion or
Article 16: A journalist has the right to peruse
official reports, facts, information and data, and authorities possessing such items shall
make it possible for him/her to have cognisance of and to use from them.
a) A journalist shall have the right to be correspondent
for one or more Yemeni or foreign press bodies provided that he/she obtains a licence from
the Ministry of Information renewable every two years.
b) A journalist has the right to cover any local, Arab or
international event regardless of the nature of relations which link Yemen with the
country in which that event occurs.
Article 18: A journalist shall not be dismissed or
transferred to work other than journalism, suspended from working, prevented from writing
of held to account for his articles, except as provided for in this law and regulations
Article 19: A journalist may protect his/her rights
through his/her union and by the legal means provided for and guaranteed by the law and
the Constitution or he/she may have direct recourse to the courts according to the laws.
Article 20: In what he/she publishes, a journalist
shall respect the objectives and aims of the Yemeni Revolution and the provisions of the
Constitution and shall not contravene this law.
PART THREE: TERMS OF WORK FOR ARAB AND FOREIGN
Article 27: A journalist may be accredited as
correspondent of one or more of the media belonging to Arab or foreign governments or
organisations once he has been granted a card as an accredited correspondent.
Article 28: The Ministry of Information shall
accredit Arab and foreign journalists as correspondents of Arab and foreign newspapers,
news agencies and radio and television stations for a period of a year, renewable
regularly thereafter. They shall be able to carry out their journalistic work within the
country. This privilege shall be on a reciprocal basis. It is for the Ministry to refuse
or cancel accreditations.
Article 29: Arab and foreign journalists and the
correspondents of the media accredited in the Republic of Yemen shall enjoy the following
a) right of residence for him/herself and family,
b) right to a visa for him/herself and family,
c) the opening of an office with the permission of the
Ministry of Information,
d) trips to obtain information throughout the country, of
which the Ministry is to be kept informed in advance,
e) the privileges and facilities set out in the by-laws.
a) A journalist or a correspondent of newspapers or other
working in Yemen shall respect and adhere to the laws and regulations in force and shall
also respect the sovereignty and independence of the country, the creed, religious law and
the ethics and traditions of the Yemeni people. He/she shall engage in no activity which
endangers the security of the country.
b) Journalists referred to in item (a) above shall gather
news and information only through legal channels.
Article 31: The Ministry of information has the
right to grant a facility card to accredited journalists, and it may cancel, withdraw, or
refuse to renew it, or cancel a licence without giving any reasons. This shall result in
the loss of the right of residence in the country for such correspondent unless there is
another reason, not contrary to the provisions of this law, to remain in the country.
Article 32: The Ministry of Information shall issue
by-laws setting out the conditions under which Arab and foreign journalists may work in
Yemeni written, audio or visual journalism and news agencies.
Organisation of the Activity of Newspapers and Magazines
PART ONE: ISSUE AND OWNERSHIP OF NEWSPAPER AND
Article 33: The right to own and issue newspapers
and magazines is guaranteed by the Constitution for all citizens, for licensed political
parties and for public companies, for popular organisations and for Ministries and
Government. corporations in accordance with the provisions of this law.
Article 34: Any person wanting to issue a newspaper
or magazine shall make an application to the Ministry of Information containing the
a) Full name and address and licensed title.
b) Full name, title, address and qualifications of the
responsible editor in chief, editors and publisher, if applicable.
c) The name of the printing press at which the paper is to
be printed if the publisher does not own his/her own press.
d) The name of the newspaper or magazine, the language in
which it is to be issued, its regularity, nature and title. A newspaper or magazine shall
not bear the same or a closely similar name to that of an already existing newspaper or
e) The emblem of a newspaper or magazine whether it be
written or drawn or both, shall not be the same or similar to that of an already existing
newspaper or magazine.
f) A statement of the assets of the newspaper or magazine
and the name of its bankers in accordance with the by-laws provided for in paragraph (e)
of Article 46 of this law.
Article 35: The decision of the Minister of
Information licensing the establishment of a newspaper or magazine shall contain the
a) the name of the newspaper or magazine,
b) its address,
c) its own printing press, if applicable in accordance
with the provisions of this law,
d) its nature political, economic, social,
cultural, artistic, etc.,
e) its frequency of issue,
f) the responsible editor-in-chief.
Article 37: The licence of a newspaper or magazine
shall be considered void in the following cases:
a) Any change in the information presented when the
application for the licence was made, unless the Ministry of Information is informed of
such change within 10 days.
b) For daily newspapers, if they fail to appear for a
period of three months, if weekly and fortnightly magazines fail to appear for six months,
and if quarterlies fail to appear for a year.
c) If the newspaper or magazine is not issued during the
six months following the granting of the licence.
d) If the owner asks for the cancellation of the licence.
e) If the company licensed to issue the newspaper is
f) After the death of the licensed owner, if his/her heirs
are unable to issue the newspaper within a period of one year from the date of death.
Article 38: Two or more newspapers may be merged,
in which case the individual licences (of both) are cancelled and an application shall be
made for the issue of a new licence to the new newspaper.
a) A person licensed to issue a newspaper or magazine or
his representative shall inform the Ministry of Information in writing of any expected
change in the information contained in the licence application at least one week in
advance, or within one week of its occurrence, if it were unexpected.
b) If the change involves the appointment of a new editor
in chief, the conditions required for an editor in chief apply, and such change must be
published in the paper. If the change relates to the name, emblem, or owner of the paper,
the changes must be made published in another newspaper.
Article 40: The conditions in Articles 34 and 35
for the issue of newspapers and magazines do not apply to the newspapers and magazines of
political parties, popular organisations, and ministries or government authorities.
Article 41: Political parties, popular
organisations, ministries and government authorities shall submit the names of the
responsible editor in chief and team of journalists, and shall inform the Ministry of
Information of any changes within 10 days of their occurrence. The bodies referred to in
this article shall register their newspapers, magazines and other publications with the
Ministry of Information.
Article 42: The editor in chief shall bear full
responsibility for everything published in the newspapers of political parties, popular
organisations, and government authorities according to the provisions of this law.
Article 43: Every newspaper and magazine shall have
an editor in chief who shall be directly responsible for everything published in the paper
and shall exercise effective control over all its contents. The paper shall also have a
number of editors answerable to him and they shall exercise effective control over various
sections. The owner of the newspaper may serve as the editor-in-chief or a responsible
editor if he fulfils the conditions set out in this law.
Article 44: A newspaper or magazine shall carry the
names of the editor in chief, the publisher, if any, and of the press where it is printed
clearly visible on each copy. It shall also carry the date of issue, the cost of
subscription, the price per copy and its frequency of publication.
Article 45: Supplements may be published by
newspapers and magazines provided they carry the same name as the original publication and
carry on the first page the fact that they are supplements to that publication.
Article 46: The owner of a newspaper or magazine
a) be a Yemeni,
b) have full citizen's rights,
c) not have been found guilty by the court of an offence
against honour or integrity unless his/her reputation has been restored in accordance with
provisions of this law,
d) if the owner is a shareholding company, all its equity
must be held by Yemenis only,
e) provide capital to the newspaper or magazine on the
scale specified in the by-laws to be issued by the Ministry of Information. Newspapers of
political parties, popular organisations, ministries and government authorities are exempt
from this provision.
a) With the written consent of the Minister or
Information, the owner of a newspaper my divest him/herself of ownership to another
citizen who fulfils the conditions set out in the law.
b) The person divesting him/herself of ownership shall
present an application to the Minister of Information containing the data and documents
necessary to prove that the new owner will fulfil the conditions laid down in this law.
Article 48: A newspaper may publish an article
under a pen name provided that the real name of the writer is known to the newspaper.
Article 49: A newspaper may obtain information,
data and statistics from its sources and has the right to publish them or not.
Article 50: The editor in chief shall accept
material for publication submitted by the public. He may refuse to publish such material
if it contravenes the provisions of this law. Writers whose articles have been refused
publication may appeal to the Minister of Information.
PART TWO: FINANCIAL SUPERVISION OF NEWSPAPERS AND
Article 51: Newspapers and magazines are strictly
forbidden from accepting subventions or gifts of any sort from non-Yemeni bodies, whatever
the purpose of such subventions or gifts.
Article 52: It is forbidden to open subscription
lists to meet any fines, duties or compensation due from publishers or workers in
Article 53: Owners of newspapers and magazines
shall keep regular ledgers on sound accounting principles and shall select chartered
accountants to supervise the accounts and audit the annual budget of the newspaper.
Article 54: The Ministry of Information shall
scrutinise newspapers' financial accounts, budgets and vouchers to ensure that they comply
with the provisions of this part of the law. The Ministry's agents in scrutinising the
data shall preserve the confidentiality of the newspaper's operations except where the law
has been violated.
PART THREE: CIRCULATION OF NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND
Article 55: No newspaper, magazine or publication
may be put into circulation unless it carries clearly, on any of its pages, the names of
the newspaper, magazine or publication, the publisher and the editor in chief., the date
and place of issue, the price per copy, the cost of subscription, the number of the issue
and the name of the printing press and publishing house at which it was printed.
a) Any person who wishes to import any cultural material
and stationery and to open a cultural emporium shall obtain permission in writing from the
Minister of Culture prior to such activity.
b) Any person who wishes to carry on the business of
import, sale, distribution and circulation of newspapers and magazines shall obtain
permission in writing from the Ministry of Information prior to such activity.
Article 57: Any newspaper, magazine or publication
printed outside Yemen may be circulated according to the law in force provided that it
does not contain forbidden material. The Minister concerned has the right to prohibit the
circulation of any newspaper, magazine or publication, whose contents contravene the
provisions of this law.
a) The owner of a newspaper, magazine or publication has
the right to appeal against a prohibition of circulation.
b) Measures taken to prohibit the circulation of a
newspaper, magazine or publication do not bar the taking of legal measures in accordance
with the regulations in force.
Article 59: Bookshops which sell and circulate
newspapers, magazines, publications and stationery may be opened with the written
permission of the appropriate department in the Ministry of Culture. No permission is
required by those shops which distribute newspapers, magazines and publications as an
additional activity and to which it is not their principal source of livelihood.
PART FOUR: RIGHTS OF CORRECTION AND REPLY AND OFFICIAL
Article 60: The rights of reply and of correction
are assured to citizens, political parties, popular organisations, ministries, government
authorities and companies and may be exercised by their representatives if the material
published concerns them.
Article 61: Whenever a newspaper or a magazine
publishes an article in which an individual or a body has the right of reply under the
conditions and in the circumstances set out in this part of the law provided that there is
a legitimate interest even if the article did not contain aspersions or libels against the
Article 62: The editor in chief shall publish the
correction and reply in the same typescript, language and space and on the same page
without recompense in the following fashion and circumstances:
a) in accordance with the request of the person concerned,
b) in accordance with the request of the heirs or of their
accredited agents if the article concerned the deceased after death,
c) provided that the reply or correction reaches the
editor-in-chief not later than three months after publication of the item which for which
the correction is being made.
Article 63: The editor in chief shall publish a
reply or correction within three days of receiving it if the newspaper is a daily or in
the next issue of the newspaper or magazine if it is not a daily.
Article 64: The editor in chief shall publish
without recompense in his next issue and in the area reserved for important news items any
communiqué, statement or news item sent to him by a ministry or a government body which
concerns the public good and corrects an item previously published in the newspaper.
Article 65: The newspaper or magazine may refuse to
print corrections if:
a) the conditions stipulated in Article 65 no longer
b) if the newspaper or magazine has already run the
c) if the request is signed by an alias or is not in the
language in which the news item or article to be corrected or the facts were written.
Article 66: The complainant may appeal to the
Minister of Information or to the courts if the editor-in-chief does not publish the reply
Article 67: A publisher shall correct false
information, data or facts which have appeared in his/her publication as soon as he is
aware of the truth. The complainant may appeal to the Minister of Culture or to the courts
if the publisher or printing house does not publish the reply.
PART FIVE: ADVERTISEMENTS
Article 68: Once written permission from the
Ministry of Culture has been obtained, public relations and advertising agencies may be
opened to carry services in public relations and advertising in any form and to show
commercial advertisements on film in cinemas and public places.
Article 69: Newspapers shall fix their tariffs for
advertisements in consultation with the pricing authorities and shall deposit this tariff
and any subsequent changes with the Ministry of Information to guarantee adherence to it
by the newspaper.
Article 70: Advertisements shall be distinguished
from other material published in newspapers by the placement of a tag reading
Article 71: If a newspaper publishes an
advertisement without the written approval of the concerned party, then such a party is
under no obligation to pay for the advertisement.
Article 72: Any pictures, articles or special
features sent for publication by international organisations to record their achievements
is treated as advertisements.
Article 73: The fees for such advertisements shall
be the same and not more than those for other advertisements.
Article 74: No advertisement shall contain material
which is prohibited according to the provisions of this law. The editor in chief is
responsible for not publishing such material.
Article 75: The Ministry of Culture is responsible
for issuing the by-laws regulating the granting of licences for practice of public
relations and advertising, and the premises for that purpose. It shall define the
conditions necessary upon applying for such a licence.
Provisions governing printing presses, publishing houses and the legal repository
PART ONE: PRINTING PRESSES
Article 76: A licence from the Ministry of Culture
shall be obtained to set up and invest in a printing press and the application, which
shall be directed to the appropriate department of the Ministry, shall contain the
a) The name, residence address and date of birth of the
owner of the printing press,
b) The name of the printing press, the number and types of
machines installed, its location and address of, its administration,
c) The name, address and date of birth of the person
responsible for running the printing press,
d) The number in the commercial register.
Article 77: The responsible director of a printing
a) possess full citizens rights,
b) not have been found guilty of a criminal offence
concerned with this profession unless his/her reputation has been restored through due
process of the law,
c) be at least 25 years of age, (i) have no less than five
years experience in printing presses, (ii) not be the director of another printing press
at the same time.
d) Where the printing press takes the form of an
establishment or a share-holding company: (i) the shares must carry the names of the
owners, (ii) the necessary information on the owner of the printing press and its board of
directors and structure must be presented to the Ministry of Culture.
Article 78: The Ministry of Culture shall take the
decision on the licence application within 30 days of its presentation. If 30 days passes
without a decision or if the application is refused the applicant has the right to appeal
directly to the courts 30 within days of notification of the refusal or of the passage of
without a reply.
Article 79: The owner or responsible director of a
printing company must inform the Ministry of Culture of any changes which may occur in the
information contained in the application for a printing press a week before the changes
become effective, or if the change was unexpected, within a week of its occurrence.
Article 80: The owner of a printing press may
divest him/herself of ownership subject to obtaining prior written authorisation from the
Ministry. The application for authorisation shall contain the information and supporting
documents as may be necessary to fulfil the conditions.
Article 81: Should the owner of a printing press
die, his/her heirs shall inform the Ministry of Culture in writing within two months of
the date of death and the licence will accordingly be transferred to them unless they
express their desire to discontinue the business.
a) The owner of a printing press or the responsible
director shall maintain a register stamped by the Ministry of Culture in which all details
of material printed on the press are recorded. These include the titles of the
publications entered according to the date of order, the names of the authors and the
number of copies printed.
b) The owner or responsible director of a printing press
shall submit the register to the appropriate department of the Ministry of Culture so that
it may be endorsed on the first or last page indicating the registers number of
pages, the date of submission, the name of the printing press and its owner or responsible
director and the number of the licence.
Article 83: Printed materials shall carry clearly
on one of their pages the name and address of the printing press, the name and address of
the publisher and the date of the printing. It shall also carry in an appropriate place
the name of the author and copyright details.
Article 84: No printed material may be printed or
reprinted without the permission of the copyright holder whether that is an individual or
Article 85: The owner and the responsible director
of the printing press shall bear full responsibility for the release of any material which
contravenes the provisions of this law.
Article 86: Articles 83, 84, and 85 of this law do
not apply to commercial printed material.
PART TWO: PUBLISHING HOUSES
Article 87: A person wishing to establish a
publishing house shall apply to the appropriate department in the Ministry of Culture. The
application shall contain the following information:
a) The name, address and date of birth of the owner of
b) His address,
c) The name and location of the printing house,
d) Its nature,
e) The name, address, title and date of birth of the
f) The name of the printing press which prints
publications for the publishing house if it does not possess its own printing press.
g) If the publishing house is a share-holding company, the
names with the name and address of each board member, consultative bodies, and the capital
of the company. A copy of the articles of association of the company and of its
constitution shall be deposited.
a) The owner of a publishing house shall be: (i) a person
who has not been found guilty of a criminal offence concerned with the profession unless
his/her reputation. has been restored according the law (ii) if the publishing house is an
establishment or share-holding company, the shares must carry the names of the owners.
b) The director of a publishing house shall fulfil the
conditions laid down in Article 77 of this law.
Article 89: Every publishing house shall have an
advisory board composed of persons with ability, knowledge and background in the area of
Article 90: The publishers name and address
shall appear on the first or last page of all printed material issued by the publishing
PART THREE: ARTISTIC COMPOSITION
Article 91: No one shall exercise the profession of
export, import, renting, sale, reproduction, showing or distribution of artistic
compositions such as cinema films, video cassettes or any other form of artistic
composition without a prior licence from the Ministry of Culture.
Article 92: Any composition may be exhibited in
public provided that it does not contain forbidden material and is circulated in
accordance with the law.
Article 93: The provisions of this law do not apply
to exhibitions by political parties, popular organisations, ministries or other government
authorities in the course of their duties nor do they apply to films shown by diplomatic
and consular missions on their premises and to their own members.
Article 94: Any person may produce, direct,
participate in, or assist in producing theatrical, cinematic, televisual, song or musical
work or any similar work, provided that it does not contravene the provisions of this law.
Article 95: The Minister of Culture shall issue the
by-laws and regulations setting out conditions for and information to be included in
applications for licences provided for in this part of the law.
PART FOUR: LEGAL REPOSITORY
a) All printed material shall carry on the first or last
page reference to the number of their deposit at the National Library,
b) Printed materials, newspapers magazines, books,
literary and artistic works of all kinds shall be deposited at the repository.
Article 97: When a newspaper, its annexes or its
associated prints, a magazine or printed material is issued, five copies shall be
deposited with the appropriate departments of the Ministries of Information and Culture or
their branches in the governorates in which the publication is issued, and five copies
with the National Library in the capital or in the governorate. A receipt shall be given
for these deposits.
Article 98: If a reprint of printed material is
carried out without alteration, five copies shall be deposited with the appropriate
departments of the Ministries of Information and Culture or with the governorate within
whose region the issue takes place, and two copies with the National Library.
Article 99: Five copies of any printed material
published by any Yemeni author or translator outside the country shall be deposited with
appropriate department of the Ministry of Culture.
Article 100: Importers of printed material shall
deposit two copies of each publication imported with the Ministry of Culture before
circulation. If the number of copies imported is limited, only one copy may be deposited.
Article 101: Any printed material may not be
circulated unless it is registered and deposited according to the law.
Article 102: The provisions of Articles 97, 98, 99,
100, 101, do not apply to printed material of commercial nature.
Prohibitions on Publications and Penal Provisions
PART ONE: PROHIBITIONS ON PUBLICATION
Article 103: Persons employed in radio, television
and written journalism and especially those employed in responsible positions in radio and
television journalism, owners and editors-in-chief of newspapers, owners of printing
presses and publishing houses and journalists, shall be bound to abstain from printing,
publishing, circulating or broadcasting:
a) Anything which prejudices the Islamic faith and its
lofty principles or belittles religions or humanitarian creeds,
b) In accordance with the law, any secret document or
information which might jeopardise the supreme interests of the country or expose any of
its security or defence secrets.
c) Anything which might cause tribal, sectarian, racial.
regional or ancestral discrimination, or which might spread a spirit of dissent and
division among the people or call on them to apostasise,
d) Anything which leads to the spread of ideas contrary to
the principles of the Yemeni Revolution, prejudicial to national unity or distorting the
image of the Yemeni, Arab or Islamic heritage.
e) Anything which undermines public moral or prejudices
the dignity of individuals or the freedom of the individual by smears and defamation,
f) Deliberations behind closed doors of the supreme bodies
of the state,
g) The details of cases during the stages of investigation
and trial in ways which might prejudice the course of justice. During these stages, the
criminal investigation departments, the police, the prosecution and the judiciary
determine the items publication of which is forbidden,
h) The intentional publication of false data or
information with the aim of influencing the economic trends and situation or of spreading
chaos and confusion in the country,
i) Incitement to use violence or terrorism,
j) Advertisements containing texts or pictures which are
inconsistent with Islamic values and public ethics, to defame or libel individuals, attack
the rights of others or mislead the public,
k) Advertisements for pharmaceutical preparations, beauty
aids or foodstuffs without the permission of the body concerned,
l) To criticise the person of the head of state, or to
attribute to him declarations or pictures unless the declarations were made or the picture
taken during a public speech. These provisions do not necessarily apply to constructive
PART TWO: PENAL PROVISIONS
Article 104: Without prejudice to any more severe
penalty under another law, any person who contravenes the provisions of this law shall be
subject to a fine not exceeding ten thousand riyals or a period of imprisonment not
exceeding one year.
Article 105: The court may order the closure of a
newspaper, printing press, publishing house or premises for the circulation of printed
material, artistic compositions or similar products which have been opened without the
proper licences provided for in this law.
Article 106: The court may order the imposition of
any of the following supplementary penalties:
a) Prohibition of continued practice of the profession of
journalism, circulation and printing of newspapers and printed materials or of the import,
export, renting or sale of cinema films at the exhibiting of artistic compositions or any
other of the professions covered by the provisions of this law for a period not exceeding
Article 107: A newspaper or printed material may,
by a decision of the Minister or his deputy, be seized by administrative action if it has
been printed, issued or circulated in violation to the provisions of this law. The matter
shall be brought before the courts to rule on whether the material seized should be
confiscated. The person concerned has the right to appeal to the courts against the
decision of seizure and to claim compensation.
Article 108: The editor-in-chief shall be held
fully responsible with respect of any breach of this law committed by a writer, artist, or
any other author of other product of expression, unless it can be proven that publication
took place without his/her knowledge.
Article 109: The importer and distributor of any
printed material, newspaper,, magazine or artistic composition containing written pieces,
symbols, photographs or other means of expression published abroad which contravene this
law shall be liable to the penalties set out in Article 104.
Article 110: Any journalist or owner of a printing
press of publishing house who is proven to have accepted money or gifts from abroad to
create anxiety or disorder in the circles of public opinion shall be subject to the
penalties set out in Article 104 of this law.
Article 111: Owners of publications, printing
presses, newspapers, publishing houses and distribution houses already in existence shall
adjust their affairs in accordance with the provisions of this law within a period of
three months from its issuance.
Article 112: No newspaper, magazine, publication or
similar material shall be confiscated except in accordance with this law.
Article 113: The establishment of offices and
agencies for press and information services and of exhibition halls, bureaux and offices
for translation shall be subject to the provisions of this law and to its by-laws and the
Article 114: The Minister of Information shall
issue such decisions, by-laws, and instructions as are within his competence for the
application of the provisions of this law.
Article 115: For the purposes of this law, all
other provisions which are in conflict with it are hereby repealed.
Article 116: This law shall come into force from
the date of its issue and shall be published in the Official Gazette.
Issued at the Presidential Office in Sanaa on 5
Jamadi Thani 1411 H (23 December 1990 AD).
Signed: Lt-General Ali Abdullah Salih, Chairman of the