Yemeni blogger seeks asylum in Sweden

Yemeni blogger seeks asylum in Sweden
A Yemeni blogger who has received death threats for criticising President Ali Abdullah Saleh has applied for asylum in Sweden amid mounting political violence in the country.

“It’s about life or death,” 26-year-old Afrah Nasser told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

Nassar came to Sweden in May for a leadership seminar and decided to stay after receiving threats for blog posts criticising the Yemeni president.

“The recent one I got, he wrote: ‘We know where your house is. We will come and kill you’,” she told the news agency.

The current uprising in Yemen, which started with protests in February against unemployment and corruption, has since escalated to include calls for President Saleh’s ouster after three decades in power.

In early June, a blast at the presidential compound killed at least five people and injured Saleh, who remains in Saudi Arabia for treatment.

Nassar, a journalist with the Yemen Observer newspaper, started blogging about a year ago and now has close to 2,000 followers on Twitter

In April, her blog was featured by US news network CNN as one of the ten ‘must read’ blogs from the Middle East.

“I love to blog about political topics especially since the revo started. It’s my gateway to express my views freely. However, that caused me trouble sometimes,” she told CNN at the time.

While in Sweden, she plans to continue blogging about developments in Yemen.

“I cannot keep quiet when I see the corruption or the injustice in the country. Even the simple principle of letting people to have freedom of expression is not given, so I cannot just keep quiet,” she told Reuters.

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