Yemen: IFJ condemns arrests of two journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has strongly condemned the arrest and detention of two journalists in Yemen while working on a report covering social and humanitarian issues. The two - reporter Ali al-Saqqaf, and photographer Abdul Hakim Abad – were arrested alongside two cooperators Alaa al-Shafi and Kamal al-Shawash in the city of Al Hudaydah. The pair were detained for more than a week after the al-Houthi group entered the campus of Al Hudaydah University, and abducted them from the Faculty of Arts in the Department of Media on Sunday 12 March. The journalists were working on producing a humanitarian social programme for the Al Ghad Al Mushreq channel in cooperation with Touch Magic Production Company. The IFJ backed calls by the Yemen Journalists Syndicate, an IFJ affiliate, for an end to the harassment of media workers and a policy which treats them as enemies, and called for action to ensure an environment in which media freedom and the rights of journalists are respected. IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “This is yet another example of the climate of violence and intimidation which surrounds journalism in Yemen. Such arrests must end and the policy of targeting independent journalists must be abandoned. Journalists rights must be respected.”

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