The IFJ today lent support to calls from its affiliate in Yemen, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS), on the Houthis group to a quick release of Yemeni journalist Abdulsalam Al-Dais, who was kidnapped by the group in Sanaa on Wednesday 4 July.
The reporter, who was working for the Yemeni News Agency (Saba) covering economic affairs, was kidnapped from his relatives’ house in the Shamlan district northwest of Sanaa. According to official Yemeni sources, a group of five armed men captured Dais, seized his mobile phone and personal computer and took him to an undisclosed location.
Since the civil war started in 2014, journalists have faced death threats, kidnappings, beatings, tortures and various forms of abuse that have forced them to flee the country and move to safer areas. The YJS published this week its biannual press freedom report in which it listed a hundred cases of media freedom violations and attacks against journalists in Yemen, kidnappings making 38% of the total number of attacks.
“The IFJ strongly condemns the kidnapping of journalist Al-Dais. This new kidnapping shows a clear pattern of using journalists as bargaining chips in the ongoing conflict. We deeply resent this, call for the journalists’ immediate release and hold the Houthi group responsible for his safety”, said Anthony Bellanger, IFJ General Secretary.
“The YJS censures the kidnappping of journalist Al-Dais and calls for his quick release. We reiterate our continuous demands for releasing all journalists and to stop the series of targeting and harassing journalists in Yemen”, said the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate.