Yemen: IFJ call for action amid ongoing crisis

The IFJ has called for urgent action to address the ongoing crisis facing Yemeni journalists.

(c) Khalid Al Saeed Photography

The IFJ has called for urgent action to address the ongoing crisis facing Yemeni journalists.

Shocking new figures – published by IFJ-affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate – show that there were 60 violations of journalists and media rights in just the first quarter of 2018.

According to the YJS “violent attacks against journalists and journalism have reached a ferocious level - raiding institutions, burning press houses, assaulting journalists and robbing their houses and belongings”.

The violations exposed by the report include the killings of Basheer Aqlan and Mukhtar Al-Yafi’i in Taaz and Aden and 29 kidnaps, arrests and detentions - which make up 48% of all the abuses documented.

12 journalists remain in captivity having been kidnapped by the Houthis and face terrible detention conditions in the political security prison in Sanaa and are being denied their right to receive medical treatment. Another journalist was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda. 

The YJS also reported 13 assaults, four cases of threats to kill or harm a journalist, three journalists facing investigation or trial, four cases of confiscation of property and belongings of a journalist or media company, two cases of preventing coverage and two cases of blocking websites and social media.

The government has committed 42 of the total violations (70%) while the Houthis committed 15 violations (25%). Two cases were committed by unknown parties (3%) and the Arab Coalition was responsible in one case (2%)

The YJS added: “The media environment in Yemen is still very hostile and dangerous for journalists which is caused by the conflicting parties who do not differentiate between journalistic work and the conflicts arising in different parts of the country.

“In the face of these violent attacks on journalists and journalism, the issue of impunity is still a critical issue and perpetrators are still far away from facing the rule of law, trial and punishment”.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the YJS and their clear demands for action to protect journalists, for the warring parties to stop targeting media and for urgent action to address the crisis of impunity”.

 For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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