IFJ Accuses Yemen of Broken Promises as Journalists are Held Without Charge


The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) has demanded the immediate release of two Yemeni journalists who have

been held without charge since 16 August and accused the Yemeni government of

broken promises for backtracking on pledges to allow journalists in the country

to work freely.


Abdelelaah Shaie, a reporter working for the

official Yemeni News Agency (SABA), and Kmal Sharaf, a cartoonist at a state

owned newspaper al-Gomhoriah were both arrested at their homes and taken into

detention by Yemeni National Security. There is no word on charges that may

have been made against them.


The Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate (YJS), an IFJ

affiliate, says the security forces confiscated their computers, mobile phones

and other belongings during the raid. In a statement, the YJS says it has been

barred from visiting the journalists in prison.


“These cases are a scandalous denial of

rights,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We are holding the authorities

responsible for the safety of our colleagues and we demand their release.”


Last May and after a year of campaigning led by

the YJS and supported by national and international organization for the

release of imprisoned journalists and protection of press freedom in Yemen, President

Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered the release of jailed journalists and an end to on-going

legal cases against journalists. 


Abdelelaah Shaie was arrested one month before his

latest arrest and questioned for several hours by the Yemeni Political Security

on issues related to his work as specialists on reporting on terrorism and

terrorist groups in the country.


"These latest cases illustrate that Yemeni

authorities have backtracked on its commitment to allow journalists to work

freely", said Boumelha. "We demand that the government honours the

promise it has made to journalists and media that it would allow journalists to

work without intimidation or interference.”


For more information contact the IFJ at   +32 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide