Yemen: Skyline condemns the assault on the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate headquarters
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights rejects the storming of the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate headquarters in Aden by a group of gunmen linked to security belt forces threatening those present. It stresses that such behavior is a public violation of the rules of international and Yemeni law, which guarantees the freedom to carry out trade union activities and protect their headquarters from attack.
In a statement released today, Saturday, Skyline says that preliminary information indicates that a group of armed men associated with security belt forces stormed the headquarters of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in Aden last Wednesday, March 1, and intimidated those present.
According to information on the ground, the armed men have threatened to kill the representative of journalists in Aden if he does not leave the Syndicate and hand it over to the "Southern Journalists and Media Syndicate," whose establishment was recently announced for January 2023.
The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate said, "We were surprised that armed forces belonging to the security belt in Aden governorate stormed the headquarters of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in Aden governorate today, Wednesday, March 1, 2023, terrorized the branch's administrative body and staff, and used military force to establish a guardianship to impose agendas that have nothing to do with journalism and do not serve the trade union work in the country"
The syndicate added: "Storming the headquarters of the syndicate, which is under the laws and documents of the General Assembly of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, is a blatant violation of the syndicate and destroys the achievements of the activities of the syndicate as a professional organization whose goal is to protect the rights, preserve the freedoms and defend its members who are equally distant from all parties.
In its statement, the Syndicate called on "the Federation of Arab Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, and all organizations, unions, and associations concerned with media, rights, and freedoms to stand by the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, and to pressure the authorities to achieve its demands."
For his part, Anthony Bellanger, Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists, expressed his condemnation of the storming of the Journalists Syndicate, saying, "This is a blatant attack on the trade union movement and the rights of journalists in the country, and we urge the authorities to take urgent measures and hold those responsible for the attack accountable."
For its part, "Skyline" stresses that the attack on the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in Aden is a serious violation that touches the core of the work of the professional syndicates in the country, which is to spare them any political attraction or differences on the part of the various parties in Yemen.
In addition, Skyline emphasizes that the security belt forces' attempt to create a fait accompli and demand the handover of the union to a representative affiliated with these authorities constitutes a circumvention of the will of the General Authority of the Syndicate of Journalists and organized terrorism aimed at depriving people of their right to choose their representatives and an attack on the freedom of opinion, expression and choice.
Skyline concludes its statement by calling on the security belt forces to immediately withdraw the armed men from the union and allow the union council in Aden and the general assembly to return to headquarters and carry out their duties. Authorities should also work to ensure that unions and civil societies are spared political tensions and that the right of individuals to elect their representatives through democratically is respected.