Yemen: Journalist Hala Badawy released from prison

Journalist and media activist Hala Fouad Badawy, who was arrested due to her reports and social media posts in December 2021, has been acquitted of all charges and released from prison. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) welcome the court’s decision and urge the Yemeni government and other armed groups to release all jailed journalists.

The Criminal Court of First Instance in Hadhramout Governorate, southeast of the country, issued a judicial ruling acquitting Badawy of all charges against her on 8 December 2022.  

Badawywas detained on 30 December 2021 by the Yemeni military intelligence command in Hadhramaut Governorate over her reports and social media posts, calling for improved living conditions and holding to account those responsible for corruption in government institutions. The authorities seized her phone and professional equipment.

In January 2022, Badawy was charged with "spying and communicating with foreign agencies" and moved to the Central Prison in Mukalla city, the capital of Hadhramaut governorate. She suffered systematic harassment by the authorities because of her job as a journalist.

In a statement, the YJS denounced her arbitrary arrest and prosecution by the military intelligence as well as arrests and threats against journalists and media workers because of their professional activities.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We welcome the release of our colleague Hala Badawi, who was arbitrarily arrested for simply doing her job. Justice has been done in her case, but there are still many journalists imprisoned in Yemen, some of them on death row for carrying out their journalistic duties. We renew our call for the immediately release of all journalists detained in the country.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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