Warning of Deteriorating Health of Arbitrarily Detaind Yemeni Journalist
STOCKHOLM- Skyline International is extremely concerned over the deteriorating health condition of Yemeni cameraman and journalist "Abdullah Awad Bakir", who has been detained by security forces in Hadramaut governorate.
In a press release, the Stockholm-based international foundation said that it has reports that journalist "Bakir" has been taken to hospital after his health deteriorated yesterday, for the third time since his arrest on May 27.
According to Yemeni media reports, Bakir's health has deteriorated as he has been in a hunger strike in protest against his illegal detention in a solitary cell.
"Skyline" holds the Yemeni authorities fully responsible for the threatened life of "Bakir". It also calls the authorities for his immediate release pending the investigation, as this violates the law and falls within journalists harassment.
In this context, Skyline stresses the grave deterioration of freedoms and the safety of journalists in Yemen for years, including judicial harrasment, arrests, restrictions on their work and persecution of their families.
Skyline confirms that that international law and human rights laws protect journalists and their freedom to work in conflict areas. Article 79 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 states that "journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered civilians within the meaning of the Conventions; journalists shall be protected as civilians provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians.."
According to the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, 300 journalists have been arrested since 2015, 15 of whom are still held in Houthi prisons, 5 in legitimate government prisons, and one forcibly disappeared by Al Qaeda in Hadramout since 2016.
In its latest report, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate monitored 66 cases of media freedom violations in Yemen since the start of this year, expressing its growing concern over this issue.