There is some confusion over the precise situation: according to the Yemen Observer, the websites are blocked for readers inside Yemen but not for those outside (and that doesn’t say much – does it?). Last week saw protests by journalists and activists in 'Freedom Square'.
Apparently a press release was issued by the Ministry of Information (its website is helpfully 'under construction') which stated that mobile providers need to apply for a special license to provide news via SMS services. Journalists and opposition parties claim these companies have been denied such a license.
This issue is no longer about media freedom but is a fundamental question of freedom of expression. Those countries with token media freedom are threatened by so-called 'last mile' dissemination: the fact that new technologies are enabling information to be shared more widely than ever before.
Indeed, many governments (including those of liberal and democratic countries) are seemingly uncomfortable when citizens actually begin to talk to each other!