Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

150 Yemeni Journalists Kidnapped by Insurgents

150 Yemeni Journalists Kidnapped by Insurgents

Monday, 20 November, 2017 - 10:30
Houthi fighters ride on the back of a patrol truck as they secure the site of a pro-Houthi tribal gathering in a rural area near Sanaa, Yemen July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Houthi attacks against journalists have been on the rise, especially in Yemeni cities and governorates that fall under the control of the militias, which continue to persecute, arrest, and kill media figures.

The Houthis have also launched campaigns on their news websites, television stations, and radio channels against reporters. 

Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate condemned the campaign against reporter Waam al-Soufi and issued a statement saying it had been notified that the journalist had been receiving threats over the past period.

The syndicate also stated that Soufi, along with her family, had been threatened by pro-Houthi tribal and military figures following her journalistic activities in As-Salw district of Taiz governorate.

The statement indicated that the campaign has been ongoing for a year and was culminated when Houthi TV al-Masira channel published on November 15 a report claiming that Soufi had been doing intelligence work, putting her life and that of her family at risk.

The syndicate stated that Houthis are to be held responsible for any incident that could threaten or harm the journalist and her family, and called for an end to all campaigns against journalists.

Geneva-based Yemeni SAM Liberties and Rights organization, reported six new violations against Yemeni journalists including threats, termination of employment, house raids, and suspension.

Sixteen journalists have been in insurgency prisons for the past two years, according to a statement issued by the organization.

"SAM has documented continuous violations against journalists and human rights defenders, while 16 journalists remain in prison in Sana’a, for more than two years … Also SAM has documented 6 violations, two threats in Sana’a, one dismissal, one house raid and one suspension of salary," said the statement.

The organization recorded in October 541 Houthi violations of forced displacement, torture, arbitrary detention, and violation of press freedom.

It also documented that Houthi militias killed 40 civilians, mainly by indiscriminate shelling on residential areas in Taiz, 3 killed under torture at Houthi-Saleh prisons, and 5 by landmines in Taiz and al-Jouf, including one child.

The organization noted that 164 citizens were injured during October, including 22 women and 43 children, in Taiz and Saada, and eight others were wounded because of land mines.

SAM said 125 new persons had been arbitrary detained during October, as well as 107 violations were committed against children, including Houthi-Saleh militia recruitment of 36 children in Hodeidah, Ibb and Amran governorates, and the killing of 69 others in Taiz, Saada and Sanaa governorates.

The report also recorded 34 violations against women, with six killed and 22 injured, including a case of land mine-sustained injury.

Land mines continue to threaten the lives of many people, especially in areas of previous clashes. Houthi militias insist on using land mines during the conflict without any clear or proper maps indicating their locations, said the organization.

It also said that 13 mines had exploded in October, killing five civilians, including one woman, and injuring eight others, including a child and two women.

The organization condemned all crimes, saying there were "gross violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law."

It also called on "sparing children from ravages of war and urged the international community to take serious stand against child recruitment which is increasing alarmingly."

Editor Picks