Yemen: Journalists continue facing harsh conditions

Yemeni journalists have suffered numerous press freedom violations ranging from killings, torture and kidnapping to threats, attacks on media headquarters and work suspensions, according to the latest report by the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate (YJS).

A mourner stands with others posters showing the face of murdered Yemeni journalist and AFP contributor Nabil Hasan al-Quaety. Credits: AFP

The latest YJS report on the state of media freedom in the country reveals 66 media rights violations that took place in the first half of 2020. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) supports its affiliate in calling for an end of to the attacks on Yemeni media workers and press freedom.

Two photojournalists, Badel Al-Burihi and Nabil Hasan Al-Qaiti were murdered earlier this year. Other violations include several cases of kidnapping, detention, prosecution and harassment. The union also reports several threats to journalists, attacks on media headquarters and suspensions from work.

According to the YJS, most of these violations were committed by the Houthis, the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC).

20 journalists are still missing, having been kidnapped, while 4 journalists have been sentenced to death on charges of "treason and spying for foreign states" in arbitrary trials.

The YJS claimed that the ongoing attacks on media are "politically motivated" and remain mostly unpunished.

"The YJS calls on all international organizations concerned with freedom of opinion and expression to express solidarity with the Yemeni press and journalists and put pressure for ending the systematic targeting of media freedoms in Yemen," the YJS said.

The IFJ has long supported YJS's calls to end the targeting of journalists in Yemen. In 2020, the IFJ wrote a letter to UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, demanding the release of the four journalists sentenced to death and called for the release of the 20 journalists currently in jail in the country.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "This year again the state of press freedom in Yemen looks grim. We reiterate our support for all the journalists who are suffering the harshest consequences of the conflict and call on the authorities to release the kidnapped and incarcerated journalists, drop unfair death sentences, and stop waging war on the media".

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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