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
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