The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS), expressed concern for the safety of journalists in Yemen after the killing of Mohammed Rajah Shamsan, presenter of Yemen Today TV, and three more staff members working for the station. They were all killed in the capital Sanaa as a result of an explosion caused by the Saudi-led military coalition’s airstrike near the TV headquarters.
According to media reports, the Saudi-led coalition bombed on Monday a missile warehouse located at a mountaintop military site in Sanaa’ Faj Attan area. Witnesses reportedly said it was possible that one of the bombs had struck a munitions cache, causing the blast which killed Mohammed Rajah Shamsan, as the media headquarters are located nearby. Security personnel Monir Aklan and Hazzam Mohamed Zeid, and accountant Amin Yehia also lost their lifes and a number of employees were injured, reports added.
The YJS raised its concerns over the safety of civilians due to the use of highly explosive weapons in the vicinity of residential and business areas.
“We consider that the use of destructive weapons near residential neighborhoods shows a fatal disregard to civilian life, as it is obvious that the coalition forces knew that the use of these weapons will no doubt hurt civilians,” said the syndicate. “The YJS condemns and denounces this attack and extends its sincere condolences to all the families of the victims.”
Yemen Today, a TV affiliated with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, reported to the YJS that they had received last 29 March a phone call from the coalition warning that the TV channel and its staff were from that moment considered a military target.
The IFJ joints the syndicate in expressing condolences to the victims’ families and extends full support to the YJS in these difficult days.
“We are terribly concerned by the current escalation of violence occurring in Yemen, which risks affecting not only our colleagues on the ground but all the civilians,” IFJ President Jim Boumelha said. “The IFJ once again urges warring parties to end forthwith attacks on journalists and respect an already narrow marging of freedom of the press in the country. Journalists remain as the international watchdogs so the public opinion can get access to what is happening in Yemen.”
These killings bring to six the number of journalists and media staff killed in Yemen since the start of the year, according to IFJ statistics.
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