The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS) have today mourned the death of photojournalist Mohammed Ghaleb Othamn Al-Qadasi on 22 January following a rocket attack by Houthis in Taiz province, south western Yemen.
Photojournalist Al-Qadasi working for Balqees TV, a private local TV channel, was covering a passing out ceremony of new security forces and a military parade in Al-Khayami area when the Houthis rebel group launched a mortar attack which killed the journalist.
Yemeni officials told media they believed that the shelling targeted the interior minister and his deputy who were attending the military parade.
According to reports, the attack killed at least seven other civilians and injured many more including Basheer Aqlan, the correspondent of international television network Russia Today. He sustained serious head injury and was transported to hospital.
The YJS condemned the attack and urged the warring parties not to target journalists in the conflicts taking place in the region.
“The YJS condemns this incident and renews its demand to warring parties to refrain from involving journalists in the conflicts. We urge all media forms to train journalists on occupational safety measures while covering conflicts and not to assign them with tasks without safety measures and tools,” said the union in a statement.
The IFJ backed its affiliate and asked the media employers to take all the safety measures for their employees reporting on the ground.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said that “Yemeni journalists covering the conflicts are poorly trained on media safety procedures and poorly equipped. The IFJ and the YJS are implementing a safety training programme for journalists on the ground but the extent of the crisis makes it hard to satisfy the needs. The IFJ is appealing for international organizations to support its Journalists’ Safety Programme in Yemen."
Mohammed Al-Qadasi is the first journalist killed in 2018 in Yemen. The IFJ reported three journalists killed in 2017. All of them were photojournalists who lost their lives in the war zone after missile strike. In last year the YJS recorded 300 violations committed against journalists, most of them by Houthis.