Yemen: YJS reports 24 media freedom violations in first quarter of 2021

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate has documented 24 violations of press freedom in the country between 1 January and 31 March 2021, ranging from arbitrary detentions to assaults and threats. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate in condemning the systematic violence against Yemeni media workers by warring parties and urges the authorities to take urgent steps to guarantee journalists' safety.

A Journalist mourns by the grave 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 seven cases of detention, seven cases of journalists being taken to court, six cases of media coverage being banned, two cases of work equipment being confiscated, one case of an assault on a journalist and another one of threats against a journalist.

The YJS reports that the Houthi group was responsible for 14 of the cases, while the government was responsible for 9 cases. The remaining case was blamed on the Transitional Council.

Yemeni journalists are in permanent danger

The report reveals that all parties are harassing and attacking media workers' freedom and that they are all responsible for creating an unsafe environment where journalists are constantly facing more repression and abuse.

The report recalls that 13 journalists are still disappeared, having been kidnapped, 11 of them by the Houthis, some for five years, including Waheed al Sofi, Abdulkhalig Amran, Hareth Hameed, Akram Al Waleedi, Nabeel Alsidawy, Mohammed Abdoh Al Salahi, Mohammed Aljunaid, Sultan Qatran, D. Wadya Al Sharjaby, Waleed Al Matary and Tawfiq Al Mansori.

All of them are in critical and very difficult circumstances. Besides the illegal status of their detentions, they are deprived of medical treatment and not allowed to be visited by their families, the YJS claims.

The previous YJS report, which documented the violations of media freedom during 2020, listed 112 cases that included torture, kidnapping, arrest and coverage bans.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The first report of 2021 shows that things haven't got better in Yemen. We support the YJS efforts to encourage the warring parties to ensure freedom and safety for journalists and not target them during the conflict. Journalists must be able to report on the conflict without fear or threats”.

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

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