Prominent Yemeni journalist Yahya Abdulraqeeb al-Jubeihi, jailed and sentenced to death last year by Houthi authorities, was released and pardoned on Sunday, 24 September.
Two other Yemeni journalists, Abed al-Mahziri and Kamel al-Khozani were released two days earlier after being arrested last week for criticising Houthi rule in western Yemen. The IFJ and its affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) welcomed their release and demanded that all imprisoned journalists in Yemen be set free immediately.
Al-Jubeihi, 61 was arrested by Houthi rebels in September last year on charges of treason. After 8 months in detention he was accused of spying for Saudi Arabia and was sentenced to death by the Houthi Security Court. Weeks before his release, al-Jubeihi’s family told the YJS that prison authorities were refusing him medical treatment after his health deteriorated and he had become bedridden.
“We salute the YJS and all Yemeni journalists who stood together against the repeated attacks and intimidation of their colleagues”, said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. “The IFJ and the YJS demand that the warring parties cease their attacks on journalists and allow them to carry out their work safely and freely.”
According to the YJS, Almost 50 rights violations including 8 abductions, 4 detentions, 2 arrests and 1 persecution occurred in Yemen in the first quarter of 2017 alone. 62% of these violations were perpetrated by the Houthis and 17% by security agencies affiliated to the government.
There are currently 18 journalists in Yemen imprisoned by the Houthi rebels at the time of writing.