The International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) today accused forces loyal to Hameed al Ahmar, a Yemeni tribal leader, of
endangering the safety of staff at Saba news agency after their attack on
Monday which left two journalists injured and many more colleagues in a state
The attack took place as the al Ahmar's forces
launched their offensive against the government army, taking over some
government building, including the Ministry of Commerce and Planning and the
Yemeni Air Line offices which were burned down. The attack on the news agency
lasted several hours and stopped only after the intervention of the Yemeni
Journalists Syndicate (YJS), an IFJ affiliate who assured the attacking forces
that there were no government's soldiers on the agency's premises.
"This is a serious incident which could have
ended in loss of life and serious injuries to journalists and staff," said Jim
Boumelha, IFJ President. "We commend our colleagues at the YJS for their brave
intervention which ended the attack. But we reiterate our strong condemnation
of all those who put lives of journalists and media personnel at risk."
The YJS also condemned the attack and said in a
statement that the offices of the Sana news agency were bombed on Monday 23 May
2011 by al Hamar's forces in an attack which caused serious damage to the
premises and caused panic among some 50 staff members who were inside. Two
journalists, Farouk Al Kamali and Ahmad Mutawakkil, were also injured in the
gunfire. The YJS organised a solidarity march yesterday to denounce the
attack and attempts to stir up civil war in Yemen.
The IFJ backs the YJS call and warns that the
risks to journalists' safety are likely to increase because of the breakdown of
law and order in the country.
"Journalists in Yemen face tough times as they
are confronted with batons and bullets during this unfolding crisis. Now more
than ever before, they must count on our support to guarantee their protection
and safety," added Boumelha.
information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 journalists in 131 countries