IFJ Calls for Release of Journalists after "Violent" Siege in Yemen

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for the release of Hisham Bashraheel and Hani Bashraheel, respectively editor and managing editor of Al Ayyam newspaper, who were arrested by Yemeni security forces following a three day siege to newspaper.  

"We protest the arrest of Hisham and Hani and condemn the heavy handed approach of the authorities which put journalists at serious risk," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "Confrontation and use of lethal force are hardly appropriate means to solve dispute with media. Our colleagues must be set free fortwith."

According to the Yemeni Journalists Syndicat (YJS), an IFJ affiliate, the security forces on Monday surrounded the office of Al Ayyam newspaper where journalists were demonstrating against violations of press freedom in Yemen, including the publication ban imposed on the newspaper.

Reports say that security forces arrested Hisham after he had surrendered and at least nine people were injured and one killed during the siege which was marred in violence. His son, Hani Bashraheel, the newspaper's managing editor was also arrested, according to media reports.

The YJS has also condemned the attack on the newspaper and the arrest of Hisham and Hani, calling for an end to the publication ban on Al Ayyam and to all press freedom violations in the country.

The IFJ supports its affiliate and, last May, blamed the Yemeni Government for a firefight between security forces and the media house's guards which followed another armed attack against the Al Ayyam newspaper and left one person dead.

"We stand by our colleagues in Yemen who suffer intimidation and repression," added Boumelha. "It is time for dialogue and mutual respect between Government and media."

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

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