Concerns for New Zealand Journalist Imprisoned in Yemen

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union of New Zealand in calling for the immediate release of freelance journalist Glen Johnson, who has been detained in Lahj province in Yemen.


The Middle East-based Johnson, 28, a New Zealand citizen, was arrested last week while researching a story commissioned by a UK-based publication about people smuggling in Africa. He was arrested for entering Yemen illegally, a charge his parents have questioned in an interview with the New Zealand Herald.


New Zealand foreign ministry officials have not yet been able to contact Johnson, though his parents have received assurances he is not being “mistreated”, according to the Waikato Times.


Johnson, who has contributed reporting to the New York Times and Le Monde, was forced to leave Yemen on less than two days’ notice last year while researching a story on female sexual abuse.


“While the IFJ is relieved to hear Glen Johnson is not being mistreated in prison in Yemen, we still have serious concerns about his well-being,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“Yemeni authorities must afford him the support being offered by the New Zealand embassy in the region, and ensure that any charge brought against him is done so swiftly and transparently.”


Media workers have increasingly come under attack in Yemen since anti-government protests erupted in January.



For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries


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