IFJ Backs Palace Protest as Journalists Demand Action Over Abducted Editor in Yemen

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today gave its backing to Yemeni journalists who staged a sit in at the presidential palace to demand news of the whereabouts and the release of Mohammed al Maqaleh, editor of the opposition Socialist Party's website, Al Eshteraki, who was abducted last Friday and has not been seen since.


The Government must end the cloak of secrecy over Almagaleh’s abduction,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “His family and colleagues have genuine concerns about his safety while he remains out of official custody.”

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicates, an IFJ affiliate, today organised a sit in at the presidential palace in Sana'a, almost one week after the journalists was abducted on 18 September on Taiz Street in Sana'a.

His abduction followed the publication last week on his website, al Eshterak, of a report on Yemeni military air strikes targeting civilians in an incident that killed 87 people and injured more than a hundred. The victims were internal war refugees, mostly women and children, sheltering in an open field having escaped the fighting in Sa'ada City. The military launched a second air strike as the survivors fled to a nearby bridge.

According to witnesses reports, five gun wielding masked men in a minibus intercepted Mr. al Maqaleh's car on Taiz Street in Sana'a. They bundled him into another vehicle.

The IFJ says that in the past journalists have disappeared in Yemen after they had been snatched off the streets by plain clothes intelligence operatives driving vehicles with military plates. There are also reports of journalists being tortured while they are held in clandestine locations.

"The Yemeni authorities are solely responsible for the physical safety and security of al Maqaleh," added White." There is no suggestion he broke the law and he must be released forthwith."

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide