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Yemeni Govt. Works Towards Freeing 14 Journalists from Houthi Prisons

Yemeni Govt. Works Towards Freeing 14 Journalists from Houthi Prisons

Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 - 09:45
Supporters of the Houthi movement shout slogans as they attend a rally to mark the 4th anniversary of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen's war, in Sanaa, Yemen March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Yemeni Minister of Information Muammar al-Aryani reaffirmed that the state is spending serious efforts to free 14 journalists and media workers locked up in Houthi coup prisons.

Aryani, in a phone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, said that that “Iran-backed Houthi militias do not take into consideration the number of international organizations we are working with to free 14 journalists in Houthi prisons.”

He added that his ministry has contacted a number of international organizations, unions and human rights groups to relay details on the journalists’ detention, which is characterized by brutality.

He pointed out that the ministry called on international organizations to weigh in on coup militias releasing the detained journalists, and that it had indeed received promises in this regard.

A number of organizations, according to Aryani, have quickly sought to intervene and demanded ensuring the safety of journalists and their release.

Aryani noted that despite receiving promises regarding the journalists’ release, international organizations were betrayed by Houthi militants who went back on their commitments.

Houthi militias, according to Aryani, view journalists as more dangerous than frontline fighters and therefore continue to conduct large-scale arrests, detaining even those loyal to the coup simply for offering minor criticism of Houthi actions.

He pointed out that Houthi militias have taken control of state institutions and forced them to implement their agenda without regard to constitutional regulations. Coupists operate exclusively according to a Tehran-inspired agenda focused on deterring opponents without caring much about the international community and human rights organizations.

“The Ministry of Information does not accept any infringement on the rights of journalists, and is keen that no journalist remains in prison,” Aryani said, adding that it is “unacceptable to have journalists in militia prisons.”

Condemning the arrests, Aryani called for the Houthi-held journalists’ immediate release.

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