Yemen : The IFJ demands the release of journalist Bin Makhashin

The International Federation of Journalists reiterates its support to the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS) call for the immediate release of journalist Sabri Salmeen bin Makhashin, editor in chief of Al-Muharrir newspaper and Al-Muharrir Net website, who has been under arbitrary arrest in Hadramout, a governorate of Yemen, since December 3, 2018.

Yemeni Journalists Union

The Military Intelligence Apparatus arrested Bin Makhashin in the city of Mukalla without explanation for his detention.

According to the YJS, who has followed the case since the beginning, and Makhashin’s family, the journalist is in very poor health. The family has also denounced that he was prevented from receiving medical treatment including for diabetes.

The IFJ reiterates its demands to stop violence against journalism and journalists by the different parties in Yemen and to ensure a safe working environment for journalists and freedom of speech.

The arbitrary detention of Makhashin was not an isolated case. In its annual report on the situation of press freedom in Yemen, the YJS recorded a total of 226 violations during 2018. These include attacks against photographers, dozens of newspapers, websites, media headquarters and the seizure of journalist equipment.

The report reveals that the majority of the violations were committed by the Houthi group (136 violations, 60% of the total) while the legitimate government bodies committed 68 violations (30% of the total).  The Arab coalition was responsible for 11 violations (5%), unidentified perpetrators committed 9 violations (4%) and the Southern Movement 2 violations (1%).

The YJS reported 86 kidnappings and arrests, 38 cases of blocked websites and social media sites, 17 physical attacks, 17 court cases and 15 seizures of media equipment, among others. Moreover, 17 journalists remain kidnapped by the Houthi group, from whom most have been held for more than 3 years. They include Wahid Al-Soufi who disappeared on 6 April 2015 and Muhammad Al-Maqri who has been held captive by Al-Qaeda since 12 October 2015.

Furthermore, according to the IFJ killed journalists list for 2018, Yemen was the third deadliest country in the world for journalists with 11 killed journalists. Yemen was one of the five countries the IFJ chose for its 2018 End Impunity Campaign due to the war between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition which resulted in increased violations of journalists’ rights.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We condemn the detention of our colleague Sabri due to his professional work and we demand his immediate release from those who are detaining him. We also call on the Yemeni government, the United Nations General Secretary and his envoy to Yemen to take these outrageous violations seriously. We reiterate our call to all parties involved in the war in Yemen to enforce United Nations Security Council’s resolutions which protect journalists in Yemen and to end taking journalists as hostages.”

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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