Further media violations in Yemen: another journalist dead and a newspaper silenced

TV cameraman Hashem Al Hamran died on Friday 22 January from his injuries following an air raid by the Saudi-led coalition in the city of Dahian, Yemeni province of Saada, media reported. Meanwhile, Al Thawri newspaper has been silenced by al Houthi militia last week. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), representing more than 600,000 journalists in the world, has backed its affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS), in condemning such attempts to silence opposing voices and has urged the warring parties to respect journalists’ safety and media pluralism in Yemen.

Hashem Al Hamran was filming bombing raids for the Al Masirah Houthi-owned television channel when on 21 January he was severely injured by an air-strike. The cameraman died from his wounds the following day, the YJS reported.

“We are saddened to hear about the death of our Yemeni colleague, Hashem Al Hamran,” said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger. “In a space of one week, we have lost two Yemeni journalists. We condemn such chilling attacks which threaten the lives of journalists covering the war. They are reliable witnesses to the conflict and all warring parties must respect their presence and ensure their well-being.”

The IFJ joins the YJS in condemning the killing of Hashem Al Hamran and in sending their condolences to the cameraman’s family and colleagues. His death comes a few days after the killing of Almigdad Mojalli, who worked for Voice of America, also following an air strike.

January has been a tough month for journalists in Yemen. Well-known journalist Nabel Subaye, who writes in several national newspapers, escaped a murder attempt on 2 January in the capital Sana’a, while three Aljazeera Arabic news staff remain missing since they disappeared on January 18 in the city of Taiz, in southern Yemen.

The YJS has also warned about other violations suffered by media in the country. Last week the Houthis refused to allow the printing of the Yemeni Socialist Party’s official newspaper, Al Thawri, whose print house is in a region under the rebels’ control. “By preventing the publication of Al Thawri newspaper, Houthi militia has silenced another voice in the country,” said the YJS. “In its war against the press and journalists, the al Houthi group has used violence and cruelty, including killing journalists, bombing and occupying media institutions. Journalists have faced unprecedented intimidation.” The IFJ urges the warring parties not to censor any voice so that media pluralism is fully respected in the country.

Yemen remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world. According to IFJ statistics, at least 10 journalists were killed last year in the country. On January 29 and 30, the IFJ and YJS will hold an international conference in Amman, Jordan, to discuss the media safety crisis in the country and strengthen solidarity with Yemeni journalists.

See more information about the media situation in the country here.

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

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries

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