Yemen: STC military takes over control of Saba News Agency

The Southern Transitional Council, an organisation that claims to rule most of the territory in southern Yemen, took over the control of Saba News Agency on 1 June. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its Yemeni affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS), in condemning the assault on media facilities and urges the authorities to respect freedom of information in the region.

Fighters loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC). Credits: SALEH AL-OBEIDI / AFP

In addition to this intervention, on Friday, 4 June, the STC took over the office of Al Thawra Newspaper, a state-owned publication in Aden while in August 2019, it took over state-owned media '14 October Newspaper'.

According to the YJS, the STC authorities have now taken over the control of all state-owned media in Aden, the interim capital of Yemen.

It is clear that the Transitional Council, which is demanding the secession of the south, wants to control the official media institutions and operate them in its favor,” the YJS. There are over 150 staff working for Saba including 70 journalists, they are at risk of losing their jobs if they don't conform to the STC political guidelines.

In 2015, when the Houthis seized power in Sana, they took over all state-owned media organizations, sacked journalists considered as critics who thought and appointed their own supporters.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “This reveals the failure of governments' media policies in Yemen, where public media is controlled by governments and operates as propaganda machines for their policiesWe call on all parties to respect freedom of information and media plurality in Yemen and STC must relinquish its control of the media organisation and allow journalists to work free of fear and intimidation."

For further information contact IFJ Middle East & Arab World on +32 (0) 2 235 22 11

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