Yemeni government must do all it can to save the lives of four journalists on death row

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) sent on February 21, 2022, a letter to the President of the Republic of Yemen, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, urging him and his government to do everything possible to save the lives of four Yemeni journalists on death row for simply doing their job.

Abdulakhleq Amran, Akram Al-Waleedi, Hareth Humaid and Tawifq Al-Mansoori were arrested together with five other journalists in July 2015 at the Palace of Dreams Hotel in Sanaa, where their media had moved to access communications and utilities. The State Security Court in Sanaa, under the control of Ansar Allah/the Houthi Movement, has sentenced them to death.

The IFJ and the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (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 IFJ is now calling on the Yemeni president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, to instruct the Yemeni government to do all it can to save the lives of four Yemeni journalists on death row.

Read the letter below:

Global call to save journalists lives in Yemen

Dear President Hadi, 

We are writing to you on behalf of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s largest journalists’ organization representing 190 national journalists’ unions and over 600,000 media professionals around the world.

The IFJ is recognized representative of journalists within the UN and its specialized agencies and we have associate membership in UNESCO. We also have similar status within regional intergovernmental organizations and mechanisms.

We are reaching out to you with an urgent request to instruct the Yemeni government to do all it can to save the lives of our four colleagues in Yemen who are currently on death row. According to the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS), the IFJ affiliate in Yemen, they are facing imminent danger of being executed.  

Abdulakhleq Amran, Akram Al-Waleedi, Hareth Humaid and Tawifq Al-Mansoori were arrested by Ansar Allah security forces, together with five other journalists, in June 2015 from the Palace of Dreams Hotel in Sana. The media they were working for had moved its offices to the hotel to have access to communications and utilities. While their other five colleagues were released in a prisoner of war exchange deal in October 2020, they have been subjected to physical and psychological torture and deprived of their basic rights guaranteed by international law.  

Our colleagues were convicted in April 2020 by the State Security Court in Sana of treason and ‘aiding the enemy’. In reality, their only crime was doing their job as journalists. 

Sadly, since April 2020, the YJS, our affiliate in Yemen, has documented over 200 serious attacks on journalists and the media in the country including killings, injuries, detention, threats, the closing and confiscation of media houses and depriving journalists of their basic rights. All parties involved in the conflict have continued their appalling disregard for the lives and safety of journalists working in the country. Security forces and civilian departments controlled by your government are accused of such acts. We call on you to make it clear that attacking journalists, women and men, and harassing them are forbidden and any such attack will be investigated promptly.    

Mr president,

The excruciating period of time waiting on death row our colleagues have been enduring is causing deep pain and anguish to their colleagues, journalists and media workers and trade union leaders all over the world. All are reaching out to you to act swiftly to put pressure on Ansaar Allah to release them. 

Earlier this month, we wrote to the UN special envoy for Yemen appealing to him to work with all parties involved in the Yemen conflict to save our colleagues lives and secure their release. We attach a copy of that appeal to this letter. The IFJ has also launched an international solidarity campaign with our colleagues which is supported by thousands of journalists and human rights activists around the world.

Signed by IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, and IFJ President, Younes Mjahed

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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