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

 

Find the IFJ

on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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IFJ on Facebook here