Yemen: Given the ongoing violations of press freedom by parties to the conflict, there is a need to advocate for special protection for journalists
Stockholm- Skyline International for Human Rights expresses its deep concern over the ongoing attacks by the various parties to the conflict on journalists and media workers in Yemen, stressing that these practices constitute a serious violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by international law.
In a statement released today (Tuesday), Skyline calls on the international community and relevant international organizations to urgently intervene and put pressure on all parties to the conflict to end the ongoing violations against journalists, as alarming figures show a continuous escalation of these violations.
In its statement, "Skyline" points out that the "Yemeni Journalists Syndicate" had documented about 10 cases of attacks against Yemeni journalists and media outlets in September, ranging from assaults, threats, court cases, , and targeted attacks against media outlets.
The human rights foundation "Skyline" states that the number of violations was distributed as follows: 6 violations against individual journalists and 4 violations against media organizations. The violations involved threats in 3 cases, physical assault in one case, and prosecution of journalists for their journalistic work in two cases, as well as burglaries and threats in media institutions in 4 cases.
"Skyline" points out that in September, these violations were mainly in Aden governorate with 8 cases, while one case of violations was recorded in Taiz governorate and another in Hadramout governorate. Documented information indicates that the Yemeni government is responsible for 9 cases of violations, and another documented case was against an influential person in Taiz.
Accordingly, Skyline emphasizes that the newly documented figures add to a body of earlier data demonstrating deliberate behavior by the parties to the conflict-particularly the Houthi group-in targeting journalists and media workers. According to the data, "between 2015 and June 2021, the Houthi group caused the deaths of 46 journalists and photographers and deprived thousands of their jobs." In addition to blocking more than 300 news websites, the Houthi group has placed numerous journalists in Sanaa under house arrest for reporting on the group's abuses in areas under its control.
For its part, "Skyline" confirms that what it observes in terms of practices against Yemeni journalists and media workers clearly reflects the parties to the conflict using the method of threat and aggression to prevent these people from carrying out their work, stressing at the same time that these practices seriously violate the rules of international law. These include, first and foremost, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Geneva Conventions and other rules that guarantee people the freedom to share and publish information and report news without restrictions or persecution.
Skyline International concludes its statement by calling on all parties to the conflict to cease their unjustified violations and to work to ensure that journalists and media professionals can carry out their duties without restriction or persecution. It stresses that the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Yemen must act and pressure these parties to ensure compliance with the rules of international law.