The court ruled that a report in Arabic-language newspaper The Week in March 2003, which included interviews with men jailed for homosexuality, had violated Yemeni morals and customs. 

Homosexuality in the conservative Arab state is considered a taboo and Yemen's main religion, Islam, denounces homosexuality.

"The ruling came as a huge shock to me," former editor-in-chief Jalal al-Sharaabi said on Tuesday.

"But I respect the law and my lawyer will defend me." 

The court gave al-Sharaabi three-month suspended sentence and two other journalists who used to work at the paper both received five-month suspended terms, their lawyer said. 

All three journalists, now working at different newspapers, will appeal the decision, their lawyer said.