Yemen: International organisations supporting independent journalism must respect journalists’ social and professional rights

Lutf Al-Sarari, editor-in-chief of the Khuyut platform based in Sanaa, was dismissed from his job and has still not received the legal compensation he is entitled to. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in expressing solidarity with Al-Sarari and is calling on international organisations and funders to ensure that the rights of journalists provided by national labour laws are respected.

A Yemeni journalist works at the studio of a radio station in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. Credit: Mohammed Huwais / AFP

Al-Sarari, as editor-in-chief, helped the Khuyut platform to become a leading independent digital media in Yemen. Following the termination of his contract, the YJS tried for months to negotiate an end of service payment for Al-Sarari, according to a statement published by the union. 

In the statement, the YJS reaffirmed its “commitment to defending journalists' rights, and to rejecting unfair work contracts that do not take into consideration journalistic ethics and rights guaranteed in Yemen labour law.”

The IFJ welcomes and values the support of media development organisations and funders who provide a lifeline for independent media and high quality-journalism in difficult contexts. However, this support must be always accompanied by safeguarding journalists’ social and professional rights. It is funders’ responsibility to ensure that their national partners respect the rights of journalists and media workers. 

IFJ Secretary General Anthony Bellanger said: “we stand in solidarity with Lutf and call on his employer to pay his dues in full. Support for independent journalism cannot be used to justify exploiting journalists.

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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