A minor setback for Jane Novak’s effort to free Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani:

The Court of Appeals, specialized in terrorism issues, delayed looking into a request by the defense lawyer of journalist Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani to release him until November 2008.

The court took the decision in an appeal session on Tuesday on the case of 15 people, called Sana’a Second Cell, convicted by a primary court of forming an armed group to attack country’s interests and supporting rebels in Sa’ada, north of Yemen.

The first convict Jafar al-Marhabi was sentenced to death and other 13 were sentenced to different terms in jail. Al-Khaiwani was sentenced to six years term in jail over “writing articles against the president and possessing CDs supporting al-Houthi’s rebellion and threatening the country’s interests”. The court quitted one of the convicts after he died inside the detention unit.

Jane, who blogs at Armies of Liberation, sent the following message via Facebook this morning:

What a disaster! Al-Khaiwani’s appeal is postponed until November. Even the court says he was sentenced to jail for writing articles. He is doing well, but I’m concerned for his health. Any ideas? There’s over 300 of us, what can we do as a group that would bring pressure or attention on the regime and the case?

One thing you can do to help is join the Campaign For a Free Media in Yemen group on Facebook. It has additional links to an online letter writing campaign and supportive bloggers.

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