The co-signed letter, sent on 16 April, comes after a Houthi Court in Sanaa, sentenced journalists Abdelkhaleq Omran, Akram Al Walidi, Harith Hamid, and Tawfiq Al Mansouri to dealth for treason and espionage on 11 April. They were arrested together with five other journalists in July 2015 at the Palace of Dreams Hotel in Sanaa, where their media had moved to access communications and utilities.
Since their arrest, they have been subjected to physical and psychological torture and deprived of basic rights guaranteed under international law. The IFJ has relentlessly denounced attacks onpress freedom in Yemen and the dangers facing journalists. On 9 April, IFJ and YJS called for the release of 20 journalists: 16 abducted and detained by the Houthi group, three arrested by the government and one kidnapped by Al-Qaeda.
YJS General Secretary Mohammed Shubaitah and IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger wrote in the letter: “Today, we need to hear from UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, to stand up for Yemeni journalists and unequivocally remind Ansar Allah, the de facto government in Sanaa, that torturing and executing journalists is a war crime and that the UN does not and will not work or cooperate with war criminals”.