IFJ Backs Palace Protest as Journalists Demand Action Over Abducted Editor in Yemen

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) today gave its backing to Yemeni journalists who

staged a sit in at the presidential palace to demand news of the whereabouts

and the release of Mohammed al Maqaleh, editor of the opposition Socialist

Party's website, Al Eshteraki, who was

abducted last Friday and has not been seen since.



Government must end the cloak of secrecy over Almagaleh’s abduction,” said Aidan

White, IFJ General Secretary. “His family and colleagues have genuine concerns

about his safety while he remains out of official custody.”

The Yemeni Journalists

Syndicates, an IFJ affiliate, today organised a sit in at the presidential

palace in Sana'a, almost one week after the journalists was abducted on 18

September on Taiz Street

in Sana'a.

His abduction followed the

publication last week on his website, al Eshterak, of a report on Yemeni military air strikes targeting civilians in an

incident that killed 87 people and injured more than a hundred. The victims

were internal war refugees, mostly women and children, sheltering in an open

field having escaped the fighting in Sa'ada City. The military launched a

second air strike as the survivors fled to a nearby bridge.

According to witnesses

reports, five gun wielding masked men in a minibus intercepted Mr. al Maqaleh's

car on Taiz Street

in Sana'a. They bundled him into another vehicle.

The IFJ says that in the

past journalists have disappeared in Yemen after they had been snatched

off the streets by plain clothes intelligence operatives driving vehicles with

military plates. There are also reports of journalists being tortured while

they are held in clandestine locations.

"The Yemeni authorities are

solely responsible for the physical safety and security of al Maqaleh," added

White." There is no suggestion he broke the law and he must be released


For more information contact the IFJ

at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide