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NGOs Call for Release of Journalists Detained in Houthi Prisons

NGOs Call for Release of Journalists Detained in Houthi Prisons

Tuesday, 4 May, 2021 - 05:45
A Yemeni worker wearing a protective outfit sprays disinfectant on passing cars and motorcycles in the capital Sanaa, during the coronavirus pandemic, on May 21, 2020. (AFP)

Over 22 Yemeni NGOs called Monday on the Iran-backed Houthi militias to unconditionally release journalists detained in their prisons, including those sentenced to death.

In a joint statement released on World Press Freedom Day, the organizations said: “Despite being a target of harassment and abusive practices, Yemeni journalists continue their struggle to uncover facts in Yemen amid war threats and the outbreak of the coronavirus.”

Journalism remains a dangerous profession in Yemen where reporters are subject to murder, violations, assault and kidnapping, while attacks on media organizations continue.

In their joint statement, the NGOs renewed their rejection of death sentences against four journalists detained in Houthi prisons for the past five years. They are Abdulkhaleq Ahmed Amran, Akram Saleh Al-Walidi, Al-Hareth Saleh Hamid and Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri.

They rejected the sentence, saying it was issued by a court that has no jurisdiction.

Also on Monday, the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate reiterated its call for the release of all jailed journalists.

The Syndicate has documented around 1,400 violations against the press, including 39 killings and hundreds of arrests since the war in Yemen erupted in late 2014.

It said the difficult conditions in which journalists work in Yemen demand that all parties responsibly stand with them.

The Syndicate outlined the plight of journalists who have lost their jobs after more than 150 newspapers and media outlets were shut as the press came under more threats.

Moreover, the Syndicate called on international organizations concerned with freedom of expression to support Yemeni journalists and end the oppression against the press.

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