The International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) has demanded the immediate release of two Yemeni journalists who have
been held without charge since 16 August and accused the Yemeni government of
broken promises for backtracking on pledges to allow journalists in the country
to work freely.
Abdelelaah Shaie, a reporter working for the
official Yemeni News Agency (SABA), and Kmal Sharaf, a cartoonist at a state
owned newspaper al-Gomhoriah were both arrested at their homes and taken into
detention by Yemeni National Security. There is no word on charges that may
have been made against them.
The Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate (YJS), an IFJ
affiliate, says the security forces confiscated their computers, mobile phones
and other belongings during the raid. In a statement, the YJS says it has been
barred from visiting the journalists in prison.
“These cases are a scandalous denial of
rights,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We are holding the authorities
responsible for the safety of our colleagues and we demand their release.”
Last May and after a year of campaigning led by
the YJS and supported by national and international organization for the
release of imprisoned journalists and protection of press freedom in Yemen, President
Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered the release of jailed journalists and an end to on-going
legal cases against journalists.
Abdelelaah Shaie was arrested one month before his
latest arrest and questioned for several hours by the Yemeni Political Security
on issues related to his work as specialists on reporting on terrorism and
terrorist groups in the country.
"These latest cases illustrate that Yemeni
authorities have backtracked on its commitment to allow journalists to work
freely", said Boumelha. "We demand that the government honours the
promise it has made to journalists and media that it would allow journalists to
work without intimidation or interference.”
For more information contact the IFJ at +32 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide