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Press in Yemen Faces Extinction: Journalists Need Support

2017-06-22

INTRODUCTION

Yemeni journalists are isolated and desperately need the support of the international community. After more than two years of conflict causing approximately 8,000 deaths, 42,000 injuries in addition to a humanitarian disaster, the press in Yemen remains committed against all the odds to reporting the truth.

Journalists have been subject to systematic patterns of arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, media center closures, unfair prosecutions and trials - one of which resulted in a death sentence.

Since the armed group, Ansar Allah (Houthis), backed by the forces of the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, took power, they have attempted to control the public narrative and have been responsible for the majority of violations against journalists. In Taiz Governorate, Ansar Al-Sharea, an extremist group, has also taken a particularly repressive and hostile attitude towards the press. All parties to the conflict however and their various affiliates are committing violations against journalists.

In addition, since the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes began in 2015 in Yemen to defeat the Houthis and restore Yemen’s government, bombing and other human rights violations committed by the coalition have had a serious impact on the safety of human rights defenders, including journalists, who are working hard to report on and document the situation in Yemen. 

In this report, Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights documents the violations against journalists and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) provides the legal framework in Yemen.

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