IFJ Hails Stunning Victory for Working Rights of Journalists in Yemen

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ), today welcomed the successful deal the Yemeni Journalists

Syndicate (YJS), an IFJ affiliate, has reached with the authorities which will

see a dramatic change in working conditions for journalists in the state-owned

media.

The long-awaited agreement, a major

breakthrough, comes into force immediately. In early 2009, the government

agreed to the pay rises and improved contracts following negotiations with the

YJS, which ended a partial strike of journalists working in the four

government-owned media, the Saba News agency, the El Tharwa, the Al

Jumhureya newspaper and the 14

October newspaper.

The deal was due to be implemented this

year but was left out of the general budget for 2010 sparking a strike earlier

this month involving up to 1500 journalists. 



"This is a stunning victory for Yemeni colleagues, we congratulate them," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "It shows that when journalists are united and fight

together they can win. This landmark agreement should set the benchmark for journalists'

unions leading the fight to improve working conditions for their members across

the region."

With agreement assured, the YJS called

off the strike yesterday. It also hailed the support shown by the Yemeni

journalists from the independent media to their colleagues of the state-owned

sector.

While the battle for decent work was

being won, the crisis of news safety continues with two journalists shot in the

southern Yemeni city of Ad Dali

on 17 January, by unknown gunmen. AbdulRahman Almohamadi and Mohammed Mohsin

are in hospital with injuries to their limbs and the IFJ and the YJS have

called on the Yemeni government to investigate the incident where the two were

shot in a restaurant, while at lunch with two others.

"We fully condemn such acts of violence," said Boumelha. "Yemeni

authorities remain unwilling to protect journalists. There is an increasingly vicious pattern

of violence against Yemeni journalists who face an almost daily risk of

being targeted and gunned down by the enemies of press freedom. We demand an

urgent investigation that will see those responsible brought to justice."

For more information contact + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide