Yemen: YJS reports 20 media violations in the first quarter of 2022

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) has documented 20 violations of press freedom in the country between 1 January and 31 March 2022, ranging from arbitrary detentions to physical assaults and threats. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its Yemeni affiliate in condemning the systematic violence against media workers by warring parties in Yemen and urges the authorities to take urgent steps to guarantee journalists' safety.

Journalists and mourners carry the body of TV reporter Adib al-Janani who was killed in an attack on Aden airport. Credits: AHMAD AL-BASHA / AFP

The violations recorded by the YJS include two cases of detention, six cases of suspension of radio stations, five cases of attacks on press organizations and journalists and five cases of torture of arrested media workers.

The union also reported the detention of two journalists while doing their job and the killing of journalist Fawaz Al-Wafi in Taiz city by unknown killers.

The Houthi group was responsible for 11 of the cases, according to YJS. They are accused of the detention since 2015 of media workers Abdulakhleq Amran, Akram Al-Waleedi, Hareth Humaid and Tawifq Al-Mansoori, who have been tortured in prison and are currently on the death row after The State Security Court in Sanaa, under the control of Ansar Allah/the Houthi Movement, has sentenced them to death.

The IFJ and the YJS launched an emergency call to members and the global journalism community to join the campaign to put pressure on the Houthi authorities to release our colleagues and save their lives.

The Yemeni government was responsible for 4 cases, including the arrest of journalist and media activist Hala Fouad Badawi by a Yemeni military intelligence command over social media posts, calling for improving living conditions and holding to account those responsible for corruption in government institutions.

The rest of the media violations were carried out by unknown individuals (5).

The YJS highlights that six radio stations have been closed in the last three months due to the lack of work permit and the payment of fees by the Houthi authority. 

The Information Ministry imposes restrictions on radio stations such as high licensing and renewal fees and the provision of details regarding the advertisement income and personal details of the staff,” the report explains.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The first report of 2022 shows that things haven't got better in Yemen. We hope that the recently appointed Presidential Council, who is tasked with agreeing a permanent ceasefire and a political solution to the war, will make safety of journalists and press freedom among its top priorities and, especially, the freedom of the four journalists on death row for simply doing their job”.

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

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