On the evening of 28 February, a group of individuals from the recently created Southern Media and Journalists’ Syndicate, an organisation supported by the Southern Transitional Council of the Transitional Council(STC)that controls the city of Aden and other areas in the south backed by armed men, occupied the headquarters of the YJS in the city of Tawahi in the Aden Governorate. The individuals replaced the banner of the YJS with another of their organisation and cordoned off the area, according to the YJS.
The YJS reacted to this situation in a statement denouncing the assault, which it said threatens union life in the country, and calling on the government and local authorities to protect their offices and restore order in the vicinity. “We express our deepest concern about these actions and its repercussions on the work of the labour movement in the country. Protecting trade unions and their headquarters is the responsibility of the authorities with the ultimate goal of preserving the rights of the citizens and enhancing the status of civil society institutions,” it reads.
The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate called for the swift evacuation of the gunmen from the headquarters, the return of the headquarters to the administrative body while ensuring the protection of colleagues in the Syndicate branch in Aden and all members of the Syndicate. The YJS also urged the authorities to avoid the repeat of such incidents.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “This is a shameful attack on the trade union movement and the rights of journalists and media workers in the country. We urge the authorities to take action and to hold accountable those responsible for the assault.”