Yemen: IFJ and NJ call for release of producer detained for more than six months

Freelance producer Adel Al-Hasani has been held for more than six months after being arrested by Yemeni armed forces over his alleged support for both Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) have demanded his immediate release in a joint letter to the government.

Fighters loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) travel in a convoy in Yemen's southern Abyan province. Credit: AFP

Al Hasani, who collaborated regularly with several and renowned international media, was arrested on 17 September 2020 at a checkpoint between the province of Abyan and the neighbouring city of Aden, in southwest Yemen. The area is controlled by the separatist organization, the Southern Transitional Council (STC).

Al-Hasani was taken to Al-Mansoura prison, a facility run by the STC in Aden. According to media reports, he has been regularly tortured and his health condition is at serious risk.

Due to his long-time imprisonment, Al-Hasani hasn’t been able to meet his youngest daughter, who was born less than a month ago.

The IFJ and NJ sent a joint letter on 10th February calling on Yemeni Prime Minister, Mouin Abdel-Malik, to make "all possible efforts to release our colleague Adel Al-Hasani. He is known to all as very committed to his profession, trusted and caring for the safety of the journalists who work with him. Without his assistance, many journalists would not have the chance to report safely from Yemen".

Norwegian channel TV 2 Norway also highlighted his work. In 2018, the producer worked with a TV 2 crew to cover the Yemeni war and famine.

Since the beginning of the civil war in 2015, Yemen has become one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world. Last year, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS) documented 112 cases of violations of media and journalists’ rights, including two killings, torture, kidnappings, arrests and bans. 

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We are deeply concerned over Adel Al-Hassani's detention and health conditions. Together with the Norwegian Union of Journalists, we call on the Yemeni Prime Minister to secure the release of our colleague and provide him with urgent health care".