As a consequence of the fighting between the Houthis, the Saudi led-coalition and al-Qaida, 20 journalists have died in Yemen since 2011, five of whom have been killed this year. In addition, 16 journalists remain kidnapped, mostly by Houthis, and 11 have been tortured since 2015, according to IFJ latest figures.
Amid this conflict, which started early 2015, journalists have been accused by all the warring parties of affiliating with rival parties and serving their interest. As a result, reporters face the threats of being killed and tortured on a daily basis. As media houses were taken by the rebels, journalists have been forced to either leave or to follow their editorial line in an increasingly precarious and hostile atmosphere towards independent reporters.
The IFJ has mourned the death of five Yemeni journalists this year, who sadly paid the ultimate price for reporting on the conflict: Ahmed Shaibani, Abdullah Azizan, Almigdad Mojalli, Mohammed al-Yemeni and Mubarak al-Abadi. Five members of journalists’ family also died in February in the capital, Sana’a, following an air strike by the Saudi led coalition.
In addition, the 9 journalists who were kidnapped by the Houthi rebels on 9 June 2015 at the Dream Land Hotel, Sixtieth Street in Yemen's capital, Sana’a, remain captive. 7 other colleagues suffered the same fate, the YJS reported, bringing the total to 16 journalists kidnapped, the YJS reported. More details here.
The IFJ’s affiliate, the Yemen Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS), recently recorded over 100 cases of violation against journalists, photographers and dozens of newspapers and websites closed during the first six months of 2016. This includes 11 cases of torture, 10 cases of attempted murder, 24 cases of abduction and detention, 12 cases of assault on journalists, media offices and private property, 13 cases of threats and incitement against journalists, 13 cases of blocking internal and external web sites, 7 cases of stopped salaries and dismissals and confiscation of journalist’s equipment and newspapers, and two trials.
Alterted by the YJS, the IFJ called on the United Nations (UN) envoy in Yemen, Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in May urging him to act to help secure the immediate release of 10 jailed journalists on hunger strike for almost a month then amid denounces of torture and maltreatment in jail. By their hunger strike, journalists Taoufik el Mansoury, Hasan Anab, Akaram am waledy, Essam belghayth, Hareth Hamid, haytham Shehab, Hesham Al youssify, Hesham tarmoum, Salah al Qaady and Abdelkhalek Omran protested against the inhuman conditions they were suffering.
Due to the high concerns by the deterioration of the press freedom and the safety of media workers in Yemen, the IFJ launched in September last year a campaign monitoring the media crackdown and urging to end opression and incitement against journalists and media workers in the Arabic country.