Tawakul Karman



Known for

Chairwoman of Woman Journalists Without Chains

Tawakul Karman


Founder and chairwoman of Woman Journalists without Chains, Tawakul Karman is a Yemeni journalist and activist who has devoted herself to the fight for journalistic freedom for Yemen--a fight which has proven to be difficult, particularly due to the Yemeni government's adamant opposition to the group's cause. In response to her crusade, Karman has faced continuous death threats and harassment. These threats of violence have also been extended to her family. In spite of meeting legal requirements, Karman and WJC have been denied a newspaper license. Karman has produced the Semi-Annual Press Freedom Report which indicates an increase in violence against Yemeni journalists. She also led journalists in weekly sit-ins to protest a ban on news alerts through SMS. In an extension of this model, every Tuesday, in the capital city of Sana'a, Karman leads men and women alike in rallies protesting governmental policies and drawing attention to journalists who have been imprisoned for voicing their opinions. However, Karman is not opposed to the Yemeni government specifically, but rather State Security which uses subversive tactics to block groups like Karman's from operating fully. Despite the resistance Karman faces in her quest, she nonetheless continues to pursue her goal of journalistic freedom in Yemen.


Holmes, Oliver. “Just off Freedom Square in Yemen.” Press Freedom Online - Committee to Protect Journalists. 2009 (accessed November 9, 2009). "The Jawa Report: Targeted Yemeni Woman Journalist Fights for Rights." The Jawa Report v3.0 Beta. 2007. (accessed November 9, 2009).
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