The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded that authorities in Yemen respect press freedom and law in the country following reports that a TV station has been forced to close.
According to reports, on Wednesday 11 June presidential guard forces stormed the headquarters of the private satellite channel, Yemen Today TV, which is owned by the Yemen Today Establishment and located in the capital city Sana’a, stopping the station’s broadcast and confiscating its equipment. The station is reported to have issued calls for citizens to revolt against the Yemeni government.
IFJ affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS), has stated that the action is a “brutal attack and dangerous violation of press freedom and public liberties,” calling it a return to the darkest days that Yemeni journalists suffered in the past.
“We condemn the decision of Yemeni authorities to close these media organisations,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Dissenting views do not justify government attacks on media. They are fundamentally different to incitement of hatred or endangering public safety.
“These oppressive and unlawful actions clearly violate media freedom and freedom of expression in Yemen and will only impede and undermine the country’s road to change. “We join the YJS to call on the Yemeni government to suspend its decision to close these media outlets and to carry out a thorough investigation into these incidents.”
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries