Yemen: stop targeting the press, says IFJ

On 10th August Yemeni separatists from the Southern Transitional Council took control of the city port of Aden, Yemen, after days of fighting with the government forces. Media have been the subject of a series of attacks ever since. The International Federation of Journalists 5ifj° joined its affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) in condemning these violations and has called on the warring parties to stop targeting the press and let journalists report freely.

Firefighters extinguish a fire following clashes between pro-government forces and separatists in the Mansoura district of Yemen's second city of Aden on August 11, 2019. Clashes flared on August 7 between fighters of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and combatants from the so-called Security Belt trained by the United Arab Emirates who are dominated by separatists seeking an independent south. Nabil HASAN / AFP

YJS reports that  an armed group broke into the house of journalist Ali Saleh Al-Essa who works for the daily 14th October  while he was abroad and seized some of his personal effects.

Another armed group linked to the Transitional Council (TC) in Aden lodged a complaint against journalist Ahmed Maher for his writings which criticized the illegal practices of the Transitional Council militias.

A group of journalists have also claimed they have been prevented from working at the state-owned newspaper 14th October which is now controlled by the TC. 

Other media workers from Yemen Public Radio and Television were refused access to the broadcaster's building which is also controlled now by the TC.  

Saba press agency is  also prevented from producing any work by groups close to the TC, YJS reports.

In a statement published  on 19th August 2019  the YJS said: "We condemn all these violations of freedom of opinion and expression and ask the competent authorities in Aden to stop behaving this way and act positively towards journalists in order to secure freedom of the press and stop implicating journalists in the current crisis".

Earlier this year, the IFJ denounced the torturing of journalists and more recently the arrest of a press photographer who has been held incommunicado ever since . 

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: " We are deeply concerned about the fate of our colleagues in Aden and elsewhere in Yemen. We reiterate our call on all warring parties to stop targeting the press, free colleagues that are detained, allow media  workers to work and report freely and provide concrete conditions for their safety. The Yemeni people deserve a free fearless press. So does the international community".

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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