On World Press Freedom Day:
Organizations defending journalists in Yemen: Yemeni journalists continue to be targets of abuse
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 03 of each year, we congratulate Yemeni journalists and all journalists throughout the world. We express our appreciation to the journalists and media who are still fighting for the truth and professionally fulfilling their professional duties despite the risks of war and the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Although the world celebrates the 28th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Freedom of the Press and significant steps forward have been made in support of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, unfortunately, we are witnessing a frightening retreat of media freedoms in Yemen. The intensity of this setback gets sharper every year as the war rages on, entering its sixth year.
Yemeni journalists pay a heavy price on a daily basis for doing their professional work of covering events in the various parts of Yemen. A total of 143 violations were reported last year, including three cases of murder!
In addition to the violations against Yemeni
journalists, the razing of press freedom has become catastrophic. Many Yemeni cities have turned into closed areas for one dominant viewpoint. The media diversity that Yemen enjoyed in many of its cities has disappeared.
While the world is witnessing an advanced debate on the sustainability of independent media, competition of Internet companies, and media awareness, ten Yemeni journalists are still detained, having spent more than five years behind the bars. Four of these journalists have been subjected to death sentences in April 2020, against the backdrop of publishing cases.
In this regard, we repeat our rejection of the death sentences against the four journalists (Abdulkhaliq Imran, Tawfiq al-Mansuri, Harith Hamid and Akram al-Walidi) who have been kidnapped for nearly five years in Houthi prisons. We confirm that the death sentences against the four journalists are rejected, unfair, arbitrary and null and void as a whole because they are issued by an incompetent court, and are squarely fitted into the context of intimidation and abuse by the Houthi group against its opponents and those who disagree with its standard viewpoint.
While we renew our demand for the immediate release of Yemeni journalists, immediately and unconditionally, we affirm the persistence of our efforts in defending Yemeni journalists, in cooperation with all our partners from local and international civil society organizations, calling on the people of the world to pay special attention to the issue of Yemeni journalists.
We also hope that the world will support the efforts of Yemeni journalists to stop the daily violations that are practiced against them, and that the perpetrators of attacks against journalists will be held accountable and brought to justice.
We also hope to provide all support to the Yemeni media, especially independent media, which faces formidable challenges in light of the media polarization that has arisen as a result of the conflict in Yemen.
- Yemeni Media Freedom Observatory (YMFO)
- Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC)
- The National Organization of Yemeni Journalists (Sada)
- Women Journalists Without Chains
- SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms
- Rights Radar for Human Rights
- Human Journalism Foundation (HJF)
- The Electronic Foundation for Humanitarian Media
- Media Village for Development and Information
- Yemeni Media Support Center
- Defense Foundation for Rights and Freedoms
- Dhameer Foundation for Rights and Freedoms
- Al-Jawf Media and Development
- Shomoul Organization for Media and Human Rights
- Platform for Media and Development
- Monitoring Journalist Network
- Maraya Center for Media and Development
- Media Sac Foundation for Media and Development
- Wujud Foundation for Human Security
- Lawyers Association for Promoting the Rule of Law
- Democratic Media Foundation
- TOBE FOUNDATION FOR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS